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National Park System stats show average of 6 deaths per week

Posted at 10:20 AM, Apr 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 12:21:54-04

MISSOULA – There are an average of six deaths in the National Park System a week.

As tourism season approaches in Montana, officials say deaths at these historic sights are inevitable, and you need to be prepared, and safe, when you visit.

Park Service Chief Spokesman Jeremy Barnum says the area they cover includes over 400 properties, with 61 of them being designated as national parks.

Together, they cover more than 85 million acres and were visited by more than 318 million people in 2018.

All these numbers work out to about 312 deaths a year, or a little less than one-per-million visitors.

A rash of freak accidents serves as a reminder that nature can be dangerous — such as the four deaths seen at the Grand Canyon since March.

The most common causes vary from drownings and falls to motor vehicle accidents and medical incidents.