WARNING: Rivers in Placer County are deadly cold due to the snowmelt and can be extremely dangerous, even life threatening. Stay out! Stay alive!
Due to the historic snowfall, this year’s snowmelt will last longer causing the water temperature to remain dangerously cold even as air temperatures rise. Those recreating in Placer's waterways should take precautions as the cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia or even death. Even if the air temperature is warm, the water temperature can remain dangerously cold. It is strongly advised that you avoid entering Placer County rivers in spring and into summer as the snowmelt is anticipated to continue far later into summer than usual.
An immediate danger of jumping into waterways is cold shock. Cold shock occurs when the body is exposed to cold water, resulting in a rapid loss of breathing control, increased heart rate and a gasp reflex. This can lead to involuntary gasping and hyperventilation, which can cause drowning. Additionally, cold water can also cause hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature that can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Other risks include difficulty swimming, especially if the water is fast-moving, and being swept away by the current.