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The County offers some 'dos' and 'don'ts' for those hoping to use the parks during the upcoming holiday

Clackamas County officials expect warmer weather and the July 4th holiday to send lots of people to county parks and the rivers running through them. They suggest park visitors to follow the rules and urge them to observe water safety and fire protocols.

All fireworks, including sparklers, are prohibited inside Clackamas County parks. Fires are allowed only in designated fire receptacles, which cannot be moved. All those building fires, must extinguish them before leaving. For more information, read the Clackamas County Parks rules at Clackamas.us/parks/rules.html.

County officials remind park visitors that river water can be especially dangerous this time of year.

"Despite the warm temperatures, the Clackamas, Molalla and Sandy Rivers can be surprisingly cold and pose a real threat to swimmers," said Rick Gruen, Clackamas County Parks and Forest manager. "The coldness of the water and swift currents can place even experienced swimmers in serious jeopardy. Please exercise caution."

All river users should come prepared with personal floatation devices that should be worn at all times while on the river. Swimmers are strongly advised to wear a life jacket. Boaters will be subject to fines without the required floatation devices and whistles on board.

The county suggests additional river safety tips include: wear a life jacket; have a whistle or noisemaker in case you need to call for help; don't swim alone; be aware of low water levels, branches or other object just below the surface; don't dive into water unless you are certain of the depth; don't leave children alone or unattended in or on the water; know your limits and don't overextend yourself; and don't drink alcohol during swimming and boating.

County deputies will be inspecting personal items to check for alcohol in county park day-use areas. Alcohol is prohibited in county parks except by permit in designated reserved picnic areas and campsites. Those who refuse inspections will be asked to leave the park.

Summer weekends, especially during the July 4th holiday, likely will be crowded. Visitors at Carver Park and Barton Park should anticipate heavy congestion and understand that parking capacity may be full. If that occurs, members of the public traveling in vehicles that have prior camping or shelter reservations will be allowed entry. Commercial shuttles will still be allowed into the car park. Pedestrians will not be allowed into Barton Park anytime due to safety concerns.


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