Kings River may remain closed to recreation all summer due to safety concerns

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The Kings River is flowing at a very high speed. Even in the small wading areas, sheriff's deputies say it's unsafe. The only activity allowed at this point is fishing from the shore. (KFSN)

Based on the current outflow of the Pine Flat Dam into the lower Kings River, it's possible the river could be closed to recreation for the entire summer.

The Kings River is flowing at a very high speed. Even in the small wading areas, sheriff's deputies say it's unsafe. The only activity allowed at this point is fishing from the shore.

The majestic roaring water at the base of the Pine Flat Dam was something Joe and Barbara DiFilippo had to see for themselves.

"Frankly, I had no idea it would be this impressive and it is," Joe said. "It's beautiful."

"It's frightening to look at," Barbara added. "I can't imagine why anyone would, anyone would even go in that water. It speaks for itself."

Sgt. Rob Dutrow with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office says, for the most part, those visiting the lower Kings River are abiding by the danger and 'no trespassing' warnings. But occasionally deputies are still having to escort families out of the fast-moving river.

At this point, recreation remains closed indefinitely.

"Obviously, we're dealing with mother nature so it's really up to her on when we're able to open," he said. "Public safety is our main concern, so when it's safe for the public, we will."

Tammy Chambers and Mario Jimenez of Dinuba are camping along the river, but it's been a very hot adventure since the kids can't even play in the water.

"Well they just put their feet in and then we go back and ride bikes," Tammy said.

"We can't get out there," Mario added. "We got a friend with a boat, but he's working so we can't borrow it yet. So we're gonna kick back."

Even if the river wasn't closed to recreation, those who touched the icy water said it was too cold anyway to enjoy. The snowmelt and spectacular water flow are better enjoyed from a distance.

Pine Flat Lake remains open, but boaters said despite a nearly entire full lake Friday, huge floating logs and debris made them proceed with caution because of what they called "prop killers."

For those wanting a scenic view and a much cooler atmosphere, the riverside views are beautiful and still great despite the fact it's closed to recreation.

Related Topics:
newsKings Riverfresno countyfresno county sheriff departmentFresno County
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