Woman in California dies while taking photos at waterfall, fire district says

The young woman, who was not immediately identified, was taking photos at Eagle Falls when she lost her footing and went over.
This photo posted online by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District shows emergency vehicles after a woman lost her footing and fell at Eagle Falls near Lake Tahoe in California, on Friday, May 31, 2019.
This photo posted online by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District shows emergency vehicles after a woman lost her footing and fell at Eagle Falls near Lake Tahoe in California, on Friday, May 31, 2019.North Tahoe Fire Protection District

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By Phil Helsel

A young woman died in northern California after she lost her footing while taking photos at Eagle Falls near Lake Tahoe, the fire protection district said in a statement Friday.

The woman, who was not immediately identified, was taking photos at the falls in Emerald Bay, on the west side of Lake Tahoe in the northeastern part of the state, officials said. She lost her footing and went over, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District said.

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"She was taking photos too close to the edge," said Erin Holland, spokeswoman for the fire protection district, adding that crews were sent to the scene at about 3 p.m.

"Recovery crews were able to locate her and recover her body quickly given the powerful conditions of the falls," she said.

The area has had "a record winter, and our waterfalls and rivers are running at treacherous levels as a result," Holland said. "The temperature of the waters is so cold it is not survivable for long.

"Our hearts are with her loved ones," she added.

The fire protection district urged the public to use extra caution while taking pictures. "This is a sad reminder to be cautious when taking selfies and other photos in dangerous areas," the fire protection district said. "Don't under estimate the power of water falls, rivers and cold water temperatures."

The Tahoe Truckee Regional Rescue Team, a multi-agency organization, responded to the falls to recover the woman’s body, the fire protection district said.

Eagle Falls is in California's Emerald Bay State Park near the Eldorado National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.