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Death Valley temps tie record in extreme heat wave (+video)

Death Valley temps soared Sunday at least tying the record high temperature of 128 degrees for June. One thermometer recorded Death Valley temps of 129.9, which shatters the record for June. 

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A heat wave punishing several Western states brought at least record-tying temperatures to Death Valley and Las Vegas.

The mercury rocketed to 128 degrees Sunday in Death ValleyNational Park, the National Weather Service said, tying the record for the hottest June day anywhere in the country.

But the Los Angeles Times reported that the National Park Service thermometer — 200 yards away — recorded a temperature of 129.9, which shatters the record for June.

In Las Vegas, the temperature shot up to 117 degrees to tie the city's record high and to cause more discomfort for residents and tourists in the sprawling desert city.

Since record-keeping began in Las Vegas in 1937, the only other times the temperature reached 117 degrees were on July 19, 2005, and July 24, 1942, according to the National Weather Service.

Death Valley's the record high of 134 degrees set nearly a century ago on July 10, 1913, stands as the planet's highest recorded temperature.

Triple-digit heat struck again elsewhere in Southern California, while metropolitan Phoenix saw just a slight drop in temperatures after experiencing record-breaking heat Saturday.

Tragedy struck north of Phoenix as hot gusty winds fueled an out of control wild fire that overtook and killed 19 firefighters near the town of Yarnell.

Forestry spokesman Art Morrison said the firefighters were forced to deploy their fire shelters, tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat.

Six half-marathon runners in Southern California were hospitalized Sunday for heat-related illnesses. A day earlier, paramedics responding to a Nevada home without air conditioning found an elderly man dead.

Runners in the Southern California race who required medical attention were extremely dehydrated, and some experienced cramps, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. Several other runners were evaluated along the route but weren't taken to the hospital, she said.

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