LAS VEGAS – Utah’s Zion National Park has raised an alert to a “warning” for toxic algae in North Creek, following a potential threat to public health and safety. The warning comes after a puppy tragically died during a family visit to the park three years ago, highlighting the risk posed by toxic cyanobacteria in warmer waters.
On Monday, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality upgraded the North Creek advisory to a “warning,” advising against swimming or submerging one’s head in the water. While not classified as a “danger” advisory, the situation demands caution as toxic algae can pose serious risks to both humans and animals.
The first change in alert level this year, the warning covers North Creek and its tributaries, including the Right Fork, Left Fork (The Subway), Grapevine Spring, and all canyoneering routes connected to North Creek. Meanwhile, the North Fork of the Virgin River (The Narrows, Pine Creek, Deep Creek, etc.) and La Verki Creek remain under a “health watch” status, which is less severe but still requires vigilance.
To ensure safety, the park will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions starting August 2, prohibiting campfires and smoking near dry plants. Recently, a weekend fire occurred at the Watchman Campground, resulting in minor damage.
Visitors are urged to be mindful of wildfire risks, as grasses that flourished during the wet winter and spring have now dried out, creating potential fuel for wildfires. It’s crucial to adhere to the park’s guidelines and take necessary precautions to preserve the natural beauty and protect everyone’s well-being.
Credits: 8 News Now
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