The triple-digit heat wave that struck Northern California last week may prevent some people from cooling off this summer.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation is recommending that people stay away from the South Yuba River. The river is seeing higher flows due to the Sierra snowmelt, according to the release.
Even areas that may appear to be safe could have dangerous undertow currents, the department said in the release. Plus the water is extremely cold.
The South Yuba River Citizens League, the U.S. Department of the Interior and California State Parks released this river safety guide:
Among the key points: Always check river conditions and regulations, always wear a life jacket, watch kids and pets, and steer clear of drinking.
Mark Sullivan of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said that 17 people have died in California rivers this year. Three of those deaths have been in the Yuba River, according to a Facebook post from the U.S. Forest Service. As recently as June 16 and 18, two men died in the Yuba River.
Karen Hayden, district ranger for the Tahoe National Forest, recommended that visitors go to the lakes in the area rather than the rivers, according to the Facebook post.
Saturday marks the start of the two-day Rafting Gone Wild event on the American River, which has had a “strong focus on alcohol consumption,” according to a county news release. The increased river flows could create an even more hazardous situation.
The runoff has also led to high levels of water in Lake Tahoe. The lake’s water level, which has a maximum legal limit of 6,299.1 feet, was at 6,228.84 feet as of Friday morning.