CHP citing people for parking illegally near Fresno County lakes

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As temperatures continue to warm up, officials are seeing more people heading to local lakes, despite the 'stay at home' order.

CHP officers are now warning people if they park in undesignated areas, they will be cited.

On Saturday, the bottom of Sky Harbour road near the entrance of the Milterton Lake Recreation Area was a rare sight.

Only four cars were parked on the road, which is usually lined with vehicles.

A close look at their windshields revealed why drivers were staying away.

"Now they're doing the parking enforcement and giving out tickets to everybody parking along here, which kind of eliminates people from even coming over here," said Fresno County resident Cheyne Padelford.

On Saturday morning, 27 people were ticketed. According to CHP spokesman Mike Salas, all of them were parked illegally.

Because of the 'stay at home' order, all state park parking lots have been closed, resulting in people leaving their vehicles in undesignated areas.

Salas said before they were only issuing warnings, but now they're cracking down.

"Make sure you park off the road. Make sure you take a look because there are signs posted all along Sky Harbour Road letting people know where they can and can't park," said Salas.

Padelford came out to the lake to get some fresh air and walk his dogs.

He noticed things have drastically changed since the last time he was here.

"It is like a few mile hike down here if you want to park somewhere legally," he said.

As a reminder, Salas said all four wheels of a car must be off the road for it to be parked legally.

He added littering has also become an issue.

"If you are taking trash, take your trash out, the last thing we want to do is start polluting the area."

Padelford said he wants to continue visiting Millerton Park, but fears those who are careless will ruin it for everyone else.

"A lot of people don't care for whatever reason it is not their property, so they just treat it however they want and that does create a problem," he said.

Salas said the CHP is paying extra attention to travel speeds along the narrow, winding portions of Sky Harbour road.
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