Australia's outback Simpson Desert will be closed for the first time this summer to prevent visitors from dying in the extreme heat, officials said. The Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve in South Australia will be off limits from December 1 to March 15 each year, beginning next month, the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage said. Temperatures in the Simpson Desert during summer are extreme, with daytime temperatures of between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius common. An official of the department, Trevor Naismith, said: "Most People that cross the desert during summer are from overseas, and many do not have the driving experience for such a crossing, or a properly equipped vehicle with radio communications and recovery gear in case of an emergency." He said that during summer sand dunes were soft and constantly changing shapes, increasing the chance of vehicle becoming bogged down, while there was a greater risk of vehicle breakdown during the hotter months. "At a time when there are very few vehicles in the desert to provide assistance in a timely manner, this is potentially a fatal situation, especially for the inexperienced, ill-prepared visitor", he said.