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Three county parks close for month of August

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SAN DIEGO — During the peak of the summer heat, the county is taking precautions and closing three of San Diego’s most strenuous trails for the month of August.

“People can get into big trouble because you just can’t quite carry enough water. Your body just uses it so fast,” Ranger Kyle Icke said.

The closures include Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center, El Capitan in Lakeside and Mt. Gower in Ramona.

During the summer, park rangers always urge hikers to stay hydrated and hike early morning or in the evening.

“We go when the sun’s coming down. We check the weather daily since we live in Ramona, I mean, I check the weather hourly,” Michelle Tondreau West said.

While you will see gates shut and closure signs at the three locations noted as the most dangerous in the month of August, the county does not issue fines or violations for entering at your own risk.  However, officials say the safety risks can lead to medical emergencies, which can be costly.

“If you want to come visit your backyard, that’s great. The month of August is pretty tough and so we close these trails, but if you want to come and hike it, people do. I don’t advise it,” Icke said.

Hellhole Canyon Preserve, El Capitan and Mt. Gower will officially reopen on Sept. 1, but in the meantime there are more than 100 parks throughout the county.

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