202 heat deaths confirmed so far in Maricopa County; 356 cases still under investigation
The death toll from this summer’s intense heat in Maricopa County now tops 200. This year remains on track to be a record-breaking year for heat-related deaths.
In an update released Wednesday, Maricopa County reported 202 heat deaths have been confirmed so far this year. Another 356 fatalities are still under investigation. Those numbers are about 35% higher than they were at the same point last year.
This year’s high death toll comes in spite of massive investments by the county and city governments to mitigate the impacts of heat.
But Phoenix Office of Homeless Solutions director Rachel Milne told KJZZ News that as the region faced unprecedented temperatures this summer, there were also more vulnerable people.
“This summer we have more unsheltered individuals in our community than we have ever before, so we’ve got to go into every summer knowing what we’re dealing with," Milne said.
This year’s record will be consistent with a years-long trend. Heat deaths have broken records every year in Maricopa County since 2016.