Crater Lake, Mt. Rainier, other national park sites close

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Crater Lake National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and several other national park sites across the Pacific Northwest have temporarily closed to the public, responding to the coronavirus outbreak that has spread across the U.S.

Crater Lake made the announcement Tuesday morning, while Mount Rainier closed on Tuesday afternoon. Park officials said rangers will remain at the parks to enforce the closure and protect the parks.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Crater Lake National Park is our number one priority,” park officials said in a news release.

Other park closures in Oregon include the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and John Day Fossil Beds. In Washington, Olympic and North Cascades national parks closed campgrounds and facilities, as well as some trailheads and access roads. On Tuesday afternoon, Mount Rainier National Park closed all park roads to public vehicles including bicycles

National parks around the country were also closing Tuesday, from Yellowstone to the Great Smoky Mountains.

The closures come less than a week after the National Park Service said it was waiving entrance fees during the coronavirus outbreak, encouraging people to continue visiting park sites.

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