Tonto National Forest closes East Verde River to the public

Less than a week after a flash flood killed 10 people north of Payson, forest officials are shutting down use of several sites along the East Verde River for safety concerns.

According to forest officials, First Crossing, Second Crossing, Third Crossing, Water Wheel and Cold Springs Trailhead are all closed through August.

The closure also includes areas next to each of those sites within a 500-foot corridor of the river and Ellison Creek.

RELATED: Officials have found a body in search for man missing since Payson flood

A release from the forest said the closure "eliminates the potential for the public to enter the areas along the East Verde River while incident investigation and area safety assessment operations take place."

Violating the closure could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization. Violators could also see up to six months in prison.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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