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Woman suffers third-degree burns walking barefoot in Death Valley

The woman lost her sandals and walked about a half-mile in the sand

By Don Sweeney
The Sacramento Bee

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. — A woman walking barefoot in Death Valley suffered third-degree burns to her feet earlier this month, reports the National Park Service.

The woman lost her sandals in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley National Park and walked about a half-mile barefoot on the sand, reports a National Park Service release. An ambulance took her to a hospital for treatment.

Park rangers say the temperature of the sand was not recorded, but ground temperatures in Death Valley are frequently higher than official temperatures, which are recorded about 4 feet off the ground in the shade. Ground temperatures above 200 degrees have been recorded in the park.

Death Valley hit 126 degrees Tuesday and a high of 125 degrees is forecast today, according to the National Weather Service. The Wrangler Restaurant at Furnace Creek in Death Valley was forced to close Tuesday when its air-conditioning system broke down, says the Los Angeles Times.

Park rangers warn visitors not to stray from air-conditioned vehicles for more than 15 minutes, avoid activity in the middle of the day, wear a hat and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water. They also advise visitors to spend more time at higher, cooler, parts of the park.

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