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Historical Heat Wave Turns Deadly in Las Vegas

The historical and dangerous heat wave that has been shattering records across the West turned deadly in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Las Vegas paramedics found a man dead in a home without air conditioning on Saturday, when temperatures at the city's McCarran International Airport soared to 115 degrees.

The man had medical issues, but the Associated Press reports paramedics thought that the heat worsened his condition.

Saturday's high of 115 degrees repeated Friday's high and marked the first time since late June 1994 that the McCarran Airport registered consecutive highs of 115 degrees or higher.

The National Weather Service Office in Las Vegas, located on the city's southwestern side, experienced its all-time record high of 118 degrees on Saturday.

There is no question that the atmosphere blast furnace is at full throttle across the interior West and will remain that way through at least the next couple of days with more daily, monthly and all-time records set to be broken or challenged.

"While many folks over the interior West are accustomed to and expect hot weather during the summer, this pattern is taking the heat to the extreme," stated AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

The heat is so intense that Death Valley will approach the world's hottest temperature record Sunday and Monday.

Death Valley tied its hottest June temperature of 128 degrees on Saturday and will challenge the June record high for the entire United States on Sunday.

Cities that could set new annual extreme temperature marks include Flagstaff, Ariz., and Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.

In Flagstaff, Ariz., the all-time record high is 97 set on July 5, 1973. In Las Vegas, the all-time record high is 117 degrees set on July 19, 2005, and July 24, 1942. At Reno, the all-time high is 108 degrees set most recently on July 5, 2007.

Cities that will continue to experience record-challenging heat on a daily basis through at last Tuesday include Fresno, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., Salt Lake City, Utah, Boise, Idaho, and Medford, Ore.

Palm Springs, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., will also challenge records Sunday and Monday before the heat eases slightly on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Spokane and Seattle, Wash., and Pendleton, Ore., will join the above list on Monday and Tuesday as the heat expands northward.

Those looking to find relief from the heat should head to San Diego, San Francisco and other coastal points where the absence of an offshore flow will keep temperatures more comfortable.

All other residents should continue to follow the safety tips listed below during this historic heat wave.

"People driving through desert areas during the pattern should make sure their vehicle can make the journey and that they carry extra water in case their vehicle breaks down," stated AccuWeather.com Western Weather Expert Ken Clark.

As temperatures soar to record-challenging levels, drying brush and the potential for spotty thunderstorms will push the wildfire threat to new areas and raise the risk in other locations.

The system producing the heat and sunshine will allow widely separated, pop-up thunderstorms with time. Most of the storms will form and die over the mountains during the afternoon and evening hours, but there will be a few exceptions.

A few locations can receive a downpour. However, many of the storms will bring little or no rainfall. This phenomena, commonly called "dry lightning," can spark new wildfires.

While the natural spark for wildfires cannot be avoided, people are urged to be very careful when using outdoor power equipment and open flames. Never park a vehicle that has been running for any length of time over dry grass and brush as the hot exhaust can start a fire. Don't throw burning cigarettes out of your vehicle.

The fire danger across the West has forced officials to issue fire bans in some states, which includes restrictions on fireworks for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. More states or communities may follow suit due to this historic heat wave.

AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed to the content of this story.