American River Confluence

River rescue demo highlights the extreme danger of the river

Auburn, Calif. – First responders from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, CAL FIRE/Placer County Fire Department and California State Parks held a demonstration of the power of the river and the challenges of river rescues at the American River confluence in Auburn.

The demonstration comes just as the long Memorial Day weekend approaches to warn visitors and increase awareness that area rivers are still too cold and fast to safely enjoy this season.

Summer hasn’t even started and already one person has died, and another remains missing in the American River in Placer County – highlighting extremely dangerous river conditions this year following an epic winter. 

River Rescue demo on American River

Record-breaking snowfall

Record-breaking snowfall over the winter is causing very fast and cold flows in area rivers that are expected to last much longer into the summer than we’ve seen in years. Downed trees and other woody debris caused by destructive winter storms have washed into waterways creating even more hazards. And variable flows caused by intermittent dam releases, particularly on the Middle Fork American River, can cause river levels to rise quickly and unexpectedly, increasing the danger.   

Placer public safety partners have launched the BeRiverWise.org campaign to help residents and visitors better understand the risk and stay safe. 

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