Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks closed for safety concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Overflowing trash and human waste and other unsafe visitor conditions have prompted Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California to close to the public.

The parks said in a statement they were shutting Wednesday evening and would likely stay closed for the duration of the government shutdown, which entered its 13th day on Jan. 3.

The statement said the parks were forced to take this action “for health and safety concerns.”

Bathroom facilities had an accumulation of human waste and toilet paper, while overflowing trash bins had resulted in animals eating and spreading garbage around, the statement said.

Lack of parking has prompted people to park on highways.

In Kings Canyon, visitors were making illegal campfires that were unsafe both to visitors and wildlife, the statement said.

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