Popular recreation areas remain closed off amid river safety concerns across Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As temperatures heat up in Central California, water levels along rivers increase and that's forcing some closures in Fresno County.

Heavy snow in the Sierra from this past winter is melting and that snowpack is flowing down fast right into the Kings and San Joaquin Rivers.

County park officials closed Skaggs Bridge Park and Lost Lake Park along the San Joaquin River until further notice. While the San Joaquin River itself remains open, the Kings River is closed.

"We will continue to monitor it," Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Department said. "If things level off, and it is appropriate to do so, we will, but we don't want to get into a position where we open it, we close it, we open it. "It's got be a decision that we stand-by."

Botti says for the first time since 2011, the Kings River is closed from Pine Flat Dam all the way down through Laton Park. The closure has been in place since Memorial Day weekend and will be in place until further notice.

The department has a total of four boats patrolling Pine Flat Lake and the Kings River looking for violators. Botti says there have only been minor issues of people putting their feet in the water or walking to close to the river.

Those people were asked to leave and complied.

"It's about your life," Botti said. "We're trying to keep you safe. We're trying to everyone on the water safe. We've had too many drownings in years past, and we don't want to see another happen this year."

As long as the Kings River is closed, the sheriff's department boating unit will be out in full force. Violators face a fine of $225.
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