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Maricopa County heat deaths on track to surpass last year's record

Published: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 12:34pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2023 - 5:32pm
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The latest data from Maricopa County shows the number of heat-associated deaths so far this year is now on track to surpass last year’s record. 

Maricopa County is investigating 345 possible heat deaths so far this year. That’s a 20% increase from the same point last year. Fifty-nine heat-associated deaths have been confirmed, compared to 44 this time last year.

Two-thirds of confirmed cases are classified as “heat caused,” where heat was directly to blame for the fatality, rather than “heat related,” where heat was just a contributing factor.

County data shows the deadliest week so far this summer was in mid-July, when daily highs reached 117 degrees or above for five days in a row.

Heat deaths have broken records in Maricopa County every year since 2016. Four-hundred twenty-five heat deaths were confirmed last year — nearly quadruple the number reported just a decade earlier.

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