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In response to heat-related deaths at The Wave, BLM will enact safety measures

Published August 7, 2013 10:15 pm

Recreation • Agency to revise websites, post sign at trailhead.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New safety measures are being enacted at The Wave rock formation near the Utah-Arizona border after the heat-related deaths of three people in July.

The Bureau of Land Management will do the following:

• Translate brochures and videos into languages other than English.

• Revise BLM websites for Arizona and Utah to highlight safety, particularly with regard to the difficulty of the hike to The Wave.

• Post a safety sign at the Wire Pass trailhead, where visitors embark on the hike.

• Produce a condensed version of an existing safety video to be featured on BLM websites and shown at the Kanab Visitor Center during the daily permit lottery.

On July 22, 27-year-old Elisabeth Ann Bervel, of Mesa, Ariz., died after she lost the trail for two hours during an anniversary hike with her husband.

Ulrich and Patricia Wahli, 70 and 69 respectively, died July 4 as temperatures neared 100 degrees. The bodies of the California couple were found 250 yards apart.

The BLM may implement other measures in its longer-term planning, according to a news release Tuesday. Twenty people are allowed to visit The Wave each day.

The formation is part of the Coyote Buttes area of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.