FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department is issuing a warning to residents to follow closed-road orders after a group had to be rescued over the weekend.

On Sunday, March 26th, deputies say they responded to a report of five people and a dog floating in a raft down the San Joaquin River. The group launched its raft in the town of Friant and began traveling south through the Lost Lake area.

Officials say a crew aboard EAGLE One flew overhead and made announcements over a speaker system for the group to exit the river, but the group, who were not wearing life jackets, continued to float another mile downstream before finally making their way safely to the shore.

Deputies on patrol say they contacted the group and notified them that due to dangerous conditions, both the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers are closed to recreational users, which is part of an order Sheriff John Zanoni put in place on March 14th.

The rafters said they were not aware of the closure, but deputies issued tickets to each of the five people for violation of unauthorized entry to an area closed for emergency purposes. This infraction comes with a minimum fine of $225.00.

Officials say as a reminder, the public is denied access to the rivers until further notice. This includes all recreational activities such as: Boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, floating, etc. Fishing from the banks is also highly discouraged, according to authorities.

During the closure, deputies say they will conduct patrol checks and monitor activity on both rivers. Deputies will strictly enforce this closure and violators will be subject to citations.