Forest officials have closed areas of the Tule River after concerns about safety following the deaths of several people, including three people from Kern County in the past few weeks.
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Forest Officials issue temporary closure of public access to the Tule River in the Giant Sequoia National Monument
PORTERVILLE, California, May 5, 2017 - Forest officials issued a temporary closure order to popular high use public access areas on the Tule River within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, due to swift moving water and strong currents. The Forest closure order will start Friday, May 5, 2017 until further notice.
Public access areas in the order include all access sites on the Middle Fork of the Tule River beginning at the entrance of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and extending to the Moorehouse Fish Hatchery just below Pier Point Springs. In addition, river access is restricted on the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Tule River to Wishon Campground.
According to Sequoia National Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott, "public safety is a shared interested for all of us living in and visiting the area." The changing season is contributing to the rapid changes in our rivers and streams. Rivers and streams often swell from runoff caused by snowmelt, which could mean powerful currents that can easily sweep you off your feet. “These areas are very popular with recreationists during the spring and summer months, primarily those seeking places to swim. This year’s record level snowpack and warming temperatures resulted in swift cold water flowing in these drainages, posing a greater risk to public safety than in recent years,” added Elliott.