American River Flows Chart
Water Rescue Callouts Chart

BeRiverWise_Co-Branding2The "Be River Wise" education campaign is a collaborative effort between Placer County's first responders: Placer County Sheriff's Office, CAL FIRE / Placer County Fire and the Office of Emergency Services

The snowmelt in the mountains of Placer County is a critical source of water for the surrounding rivers and streams, but it can also pose significant danger in the spring and summer months. As the snowpack melts, it can cause the rivers to swell and flood, leading to potential dangers for people and property in low-lying areas. 

  • The fast-moving and frigid water can be a hazard for recreational activities like swimming and rafting. It's important for people to be aware of the potential dangers associated with snowmelt and to take appropriate precautions when enjoying the waterways.
  • Hypothermia can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, causing confusion, shivering, loss of coordination and muscle control, and even coma or cardiac arrest. Even experienced swimmers can quickly become overwhelmed and drown even in calmer water.
  • Traditional recreational spots may not be safe to visit this season due to the dangers associated with snowmelt, including higher river levels, fast-moving water and other hazards.
  • The fluctuation of dam-controlled water levels can create further danger downstream, as sudden releases of water can result in quickly rising water and other hazards.