History emerging from underwater at Pine Flat Lake

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A long submerged piece of Fresno County history is now exposed because of the drought but the low lake levels are also causing concern for the safety of visitors there. (KFSN)

A long submerged piece of Fresno County history is now exposed because of the drought but the low lake levels are also causing concern for the safety of visitors there.

"Those trees are sticking out," said Raymond Garcia.

Garcia and his buddies came to enjoy a hot summer day at Pine Flat Lake and found some hazards which weren't there before.

"We were going slow but if you're not paying attention people are going to get hurt. You got to be careful," said Garcia.

Garcia is referring to the tall trees once underwater and big rocks just beneath the surface. The U.S. Army Crops of Engineers is reminding everyone to be extra cautious here this year.

"We are not able to mark all of our hazards. We really want to let our visitors know it is on them to take their time to look around," said Tom Ehrke.

Further up Pine Flat there's now a piece of exposed history which used to be flooded. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says these are the remains of an old jail which was once part of the Trimmer Springs community. The area was known as a popular vacation spot in the late 1800s.

Ehrke says this year's levels at the dam are about 11% of capacity but they aren't the lowest on record. He believes that's partly because of the recent unexpected weather.

"Up in the high country we are getting some late summer storms and that's keeping our inflow a little higher than it would normally be and so right now we are leveling out and the lake is not dropping anymore," added Ehrke.

Visitors we spoke with say in this extremely dry year they're just graeteful to be able to enjoy a day on the water.

"I didn't know if we were going to be able to launch," said Jesse Chaparro.

"Because we can go fishing and I never went fishing before," said Rosemary Starck.



Related Topics:
watercalifornia waterdroughtfresno countyPine Flat Lake
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