I think the ominous fireballs should not be forgotten. They obviously were witnessed by numerous people just around the time of the DPI!
I also like L. Ivanov´s wise approach:
„UFO's i.e. unidentified flying objects are often associated with aliens. I do not agree with this. UFOs need to be understood as unidentified flying objects, and only so.“ (Lev Ivanov, "Leninskiy Put", Kustanay, 22 and 24 November 1990/https://dyatlovpass.com/lev-ivanov
Here´s my theory (well, one of my theories):
Most members of the group were in the tent, preparing some kind of meal, when all of a sudden a light phenomenon caught the attention of the people outside, who cried out with excitement. That caused a frantic stir/panic in the tent and someone even decided to cut the tent in order to get a glimpse of the phenomenon.
A phenomenon so monstrous/mindblowing/out of place, that the group members almost immediately lost all of their common sense and cut up the tent. Furthermore, it wasn´t cold outside! The thing considerably heated up the surrounding air.
It must have been the equivalent of a biblical miracle (yes I know, it´s the USSR in 1959). The group stumbled down the mountain, not caring for proper clothing or anything else really.
The phenomenon had already molten the snow down near the tree line (therefore no further tracks of the group members were found after a few hundred meters down).
However, the miracle turned into a deadly nightmare. The fireball/thing/UFO in the air started to attack the hikers, sent energy waves that cracked ribs like straws, threw them against rocks on the ground and set the treetops on fire.
Then the object vanished as fast as it had arrived. Immediately it was dark and freezing cold again. Half blind and shocked some of the wounded hikers tried to get back to the tent, soon realizing that their fate was sealed. Two of them tried in vain to get a proper fire going. The others, heavily injured, stumbled towards their demise in the ravine. Ultimately all of their attempts to fight the cold failed.