UPDATED: Nevada State Parks responds to fatal incident, trail closures; both women identities released

VALLEY OF FIRE / OVERTON, Nev. — Nevada State Parks responded to the fatal incident involving two women found dead due to “extreme temperature” Saturday afternoon on a trail at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. And officials announced more trail closures.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified the women as Jessica Rhodes, 34, and Diana Matienco Rivera, 29, Tuesday morning, Nevada State Parks Education and Information Officer Jenny Jackson told St. George News.

The state park previously closed Fire Wave and the Seven Wonders Loop trails — two of its most popular hiking trails — in June due to extreme heat, according to a news release.

The incident on Saturday involved two women who were reported missing by a separate hiking group. They noticed that Rhodes and Rivera had departed early Saturday morning but had not returned. A member of the group called emergency dispatch, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada State Parks.

State park rangers arrived on the scene and located one of the women on the trail. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Search and Rescue was dispatched to assist and later found the other woman in a canyon area, near the trail.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death, as no official cause of death has been released.

In the aftermath, Park administrators closed off six more trails on Sunday. These trails are the White Domes, Prospect, Arrowhead, Pinnacles, Charlie Springs and Natural Arches Trails.

The trails will remain closed until October 1.

To plan hikes and track their location when hiking in Nevada State Parks, Jackson said people can download the new app Explore Nevada — a partnership with Outerspatial, which includes tips like having plenty of water and sunscreen, staying on the trail and more.

“Ultimately, if it’s hot enough, the best thing is just to not go hiking and wait until the weather cools,” she said.

This is developing news.

UPDATE: July 23, 5:10 p.m., to include the identities of victims added and a response from Nevada State Parks.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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