FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With warmer temperatures heading into the weekend, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to stay out of the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers.

“We have a hot weekend ahead, but the San Joaquin and Kings Rivers are NOT safe places to cool off. The water is extremely cold, around 50°, and the current is dangerously strong. No matter how experienced of a swimmer, rafter, kayaker, etc. you are, these conditions can easily kill you,” says the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

In response to heavy winter storms creating high water levels and hazardous conditions on the Kings and San Joaquin Rivers, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office says they have issued a closure of these rivers to recreational users on March 14th, 2023.

Sheriff John Zanoni put the order in place and anyone accessing the rivers are considered to be in violation of the order. Officials say unauthorized entry to an area closed for emergency purposes comes with a minimum fine of $225.

“The conditions of our waterways will only become more dangerous in the coming months as snow melts and dams release even more water into the rivers,” says the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say there is no timetable of when rivers will be reopened for recreational use and that water levels are being monitored on a daily basis and a decision to reopen the rivers will be made once conditions improve.