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Heat buckles freeway onramp in Utah

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POSTED June 30, 2013 7:19 p.m.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In Utah, a record 105-degree heat Sunday caused an interstate on-ramp to buckle in Salt Lake City, and hampered firefighters in their battle against three wildfires. The Interstate 215 on-ramp had to be closed for four hours Saturday night after a short section of it expanded, Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said.

The section looked like a pothole before it was repaved, he said. No problems were reported, and traffic was rerouted around the closed lane.

Hikers, bikers and dog walkers were scarce on typically busy trails in the Santa Monica Mountains above Los Angeles. At midday, two women and a panting German shepherd huddled in a rare sliver of shade along a fire road before striking out in the hot sun.

Atop San Vicente Peak, cyclist Jeff Disbrow, 49, of Santa Monica was clad in black and lathered in sweat as he took a break and refilled his water bottle.

“It’s not the best day to be out here — unless you want to suffer,” he said. “It’s like Arizona.”

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Larry Nunez said the city hasn’t seen any deaths that were classified as heat-related, but emergency workers have gotten 98 heat-related calls within the metro area since Friday morning.

The 119-degree high in Phoenix on Saturday marked the fourth-hottest day in metro Phoenix since authorities started keeping temperature records more than 110 years ago. The high temperature for the metro area hit 115 on Sunday.

Temperatures could drop slightly in Phoenix within the coming days as monsoon storms are expected to make their way through the state. Such storms could bring cloud cover but could produce more humidity and possibly contribute to dust storms.

Several Southern California communities set same-day record highs Saturday including Palm Springs, where the mercury peaked at 122 degrees.

Death Valley, the hottest place on the planet, reached 127 degrees Saturday. It was forecast to be 1 degree hotter Sunday. As sweltering as it will


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