Sequoia, Kings Canyon Close Due to Health, Safety Concerns

A woman stands among a grove of giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park in Central California on Oct. 11, 2009. The redwood trees, which are native to California's Sierra Nevada, are the world's largest by volume reaching heights of 274.9 feet and a ground level girth of 109 feet. The oldest known giant sequoia based on its ring count is 3,500 years old.  (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images))

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 Thursday.

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.

On Monday, Yosemite National Park officials announced the closures of some minimally supervised campgrounds and public areas within the park. In San Francisco, the city's public works department helped clean garbage from Lands End, a park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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