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River access limited, parking lots closed to motorized vehicles 

Released on Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Contact Information
  • Public Information Officer, Fort Collins Police Services, 970-818-8950, fcpsmedia@fcgov.com, Website: www.fcgov.com/police/
Images
  • 18 people have been rescued from the Poudre River this season

Legacy Park and North Shields River Access parking lots have been closed to motor vehicles until Poudre River conditions improve for recreation. Access to the Poudre River shoreline within the Natural Areas is closed between North Shields River Access and Salyer Natural Area. This is an effort to discourage boating and floating on a dangerous section of the river in Fort Collins.

River conditions are expected to remain hazardous for the next several weeks as spring runoff continues. In addition to normal seasonal flow risks, an increase in debris from the 2020 Cameron Peak Fire has created further dangers to recreators.

“We know it’s summertime, it’s hot, and people want to enjoy our beautiful natural resources, but it’s just not safe to float or boat on this part of the Poudre River right now,” said FCPS Assistant Chief Kristy Volesky. “We’ll continue working with our local partners to inform the community, reduce unsafe activities, and prevent tragedy.”

Poudre Fire Authority has rescued 18 people from the Poudre River already this season, with 16 of those rescues being in town. Despite warnings about dangerous conditions and debris hazards, river recreation and resulting accidents have continued. Rescue efforts require the activation of specialized teams, prompt road closures, and have an impact on our community.

“While our swiftwater technicians are highly trained professionals, every rescue is a resource-intensive effort that comes with safety risks to all involved,” said Brandon Garcia, Interim Operations Division Chief at Poudre Fire Authority. “The majority of people rescued were not aware of the river hazards or properly prepared with personal protective equipment or the skills needed to navigate the high flows and cold temperatures of the water. Please think twice before risking your lives and the lives of responders.”

The parking lots, surrounding natural areas, and trails will remain open for pedestrians, cyclists, and non-motorized vehicles. Closures will remain in place until Poudre River conditions improve for recreation.

The flow rate is currently classified as extreme and increased overnight, even since the river rescue on the evening of June 7. For more information about recreating on the river after conditions improve, please look to Poudre Fire Authority’s river safety page. General information and updates will be shared there.