Take flight over Reedley Beach on the Kings River in this drone video
The Kings River will reopen on Saturday for recreational use from Pine Flat Dam to the Tulare and Kings County lines, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced Friday.
The river was closed on June 4 for the public’s safety. An extremely heavy amount of water, due to large amounts of melting snow in the Sierra, was flowing out of Pine Flat Dam, creating unsafe conditions for boaters and swimmers.
On Friday, the Sheriff’s Boating Enforcement Unit (BEU) was told by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that water releases are expected to stabilize, creating safe enough conditions for the public to access the river.
Although the closure is being lifted, Mims reminds those who will venture out on the river to be continue using caution.
There are downed trees, which can create turbulent water flows. A person caught in one of those flows can quickly find themselves pinned against the tree or even swept underneath it. It’s extremely difficult to rescue yourself from a strainer and typically requires emergency help from trained rescue personnel, Mims said.
Sheriff’s officials also warn that the temperature of the water is about 56 degrees and prolonged exposure to the cold water can cause hypothermia. They recommend the public take several simple safety precautions: wear a life jacket, stay out of the water if you’re not an experienced swimmer and do not mix alcohol and swimming.
Also, please keep an eye on your children at all times. In less than a minute they can slip into the water and be put at risk for injury or death.