Nightly News   |  June 29, 2013

Health worries as temps soar in the West

Heat warnings or advisories are posted in parts of eight western states with temperatures of 120 degrees not out of the question for parts of California, Nevada and Arizona into next week. Residents are advised to protect themselves and their pets. The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel reports.

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>>> extreme and dangerous heat that has much of the west in its grip tonight. triggering urgent health warnings across several states. by 12:00 noon pacific time , already 114 and rising in phoenix. 109 in las vegas . 115 in palm springs , california . at this hour, heat warnings and/or advisories posted in parts of eight states. temperatures approaching 120 rarely seen, are not out of the question for parts of california , nevada, and arizona into early next week. let's start in las vegas , and weather channel meteorologist mike seidel . good evening.

>> reporter: hey, lester. most out here are walking out on the las vegas strip are saying it feels like an oven. so far, up to 114, challenging yet another record today. for many in the southwest today, heat is a four-letter word.

>> it feels like hell warmed over. really hot.

>> reporter: in las vegas , visitors were walking in 100-degree weather at 9:00 a.m ., with the national weather service warning of life threatening temperatures, close to 117 degrees at the end of the day .

>> excess hif heat warning by the end of the day .

>> hot, hot, hot. today is not the day to be out on the strip, that's for sure.

>> reporter: in death valley , california , people braved the summer sun to see the salt flats .

>> he has shoes on, otherwise he wouldn't be on the cement.

>> reporter: today's temperature could come within 5 degrees of 134, set 100 years ago on july 10, 1913 .

>> we have to come and see death valley when it's 130 degrees. most inopportune time to come on vacation, but here we are.

>> reporter: in el paso , texas, volunteers going door to door , hahning out fans to neighbors.

>> it will help out. i want him to be comfortable.

>> reporter: in kansas city , the salvation army offered free fans to residents.

>> it's a prayer, an answered prayer.

>> reporter: heat and fry denies are adding fuel to a season of wildfires. on friday, a brushfire broke out in southern california that sent residents packing.

>> came to the door and told us, so we grabbed what pictures we could and the dog and left.

>> reporter: with no relief in sight, medical experts advise people keep hydrated.

>> stay inside in a cool environment.

>> reporter: advise that the phoenix zoo is taking to heart. animals are being kept cool and comfortable in the record heat and more of this on sunday. 116 here in vegas would break the record for june. monday, like a furnace. death valley , approaching 130. cool off a little in the desert southwest by the 4th of july . records in texas today, all-time june record san antonio , 107, houston, 107. in the midwest, lightning and three children at a day camp outside of indianapolis were hit by lightning and injured. transported to local hospitals. the misters keeping us going today in the heat. back to you.

>> hang in there, mike seidel .