2014-07-03 / Front Page

Area agencies offer holiday advice

Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 10:30 a.m. - A bit of planning and caution can help residents and visitors stay safer this Independence Day weekend, area officials said this week.

During the same weekend last year, 56 people died in vehicle collissions throughout the state, CHP spokesman Jaime Coffee said. CHP officers also made more than 1,500 arrests of motorists suspected of drinking and driving. 

"Our goal is to use education and enforcement to get the message out to be responsible this weekend," CHP spokesman Coffee said.

Yosemite National Park officials warn visitors to arrive early to beat crowds on what is likely to be be one of the most congested weekends of the year in Yosemite Valley. Visitors should enter the Park before 10 a.m. to avoid the worst jams at Park entrances. Fireworks are prohibited throughout the Park, officials remind visitors. 

Critical fire conditions also exist in Stanislaus and Sierra national forests, officials there said. All fireworks are prohibited in national forests, with violations punishable by fines of up to $5,000.

Fireworks are also prohibited throughout Mariposa County.

Due to budget issues, the Mariposa Kiwanis Club will not be presenting a local fireworks show at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds this year. The closest fireworks show is at Bass Lake in Madera County.

Vehicles back up at Yosemite's Arch Rock Entrance Station during a past busy weekend. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)Vehicles back up at Yosemite's Arch Rock Entrance Station during a past busy weekend. (Erik Skindrud | The GAZETTE)

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