California Hot Springs Closed 'Indefinitely' After Second Body Found in Less Than 2 Years

“The area will remain closed until a sustainable long-term solution is reached," District Ranger Al Watson

<p></p> A tub at the Miracle Hot Springs in California.

A tub at the Miracle Hot Springs in California.
  • California's Miracle Hot Springs have closed after a second body was found at the location in less than two years, according to officials

  • Found this month, the latest victim followed a previous death in October 2022

  • PEOPLE has reached out to the U.S. Forest Service for comment

The Miracle Hot Springs in California will be closed "indefinitely" after two people died at the site in less than two years, officials announced this week.

On Feb. 17, a body was found in one of the hot spring’s tubs, the U.S. Forest Service said in a news release on Monday. Another body was found in the same area on Oct. 17, 2022.

It's unclear how those individuals died, and their identities have not been released at this time.

“Public safety is of utmost importance to Forest Service officials," District Ranger Al Watson said in the release. "With a second death that can be attributed in part to the hot springs, the area will remain closed until a sustainable long-term solution is reached."

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PEOPLE has reached out to the agency for comment.

The hot springs are located near the Kern River at an elevation of 2,300 feet in Sequoia National Forest, according to the Forest Service.

Employees dismantled the once-sought-after tubs following the 2022 death, according to the East Bay Times. However, people continued to come to the area, and some tried to rebuild the tubs.

Related: Man Severely Burned After Tripping and Falling into Hot Spring at Yellowstone National Park

The Kern River Angels, an advocacy group whose mission has been to "restore and steward the historical and healing" power of the hot springs, sought an agreement to allow its members to maintain the soaking area, per the outlet.

The agency has reportedly said that construction without a permit is illegal on national forest land.

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Monday's announcement also comes after winter and spring flooding on the Kern River in 2023, which left the hot springs "under the high-water mark and inaccessible." The previously removed tub area had been "exposed again" because river levels had dropped.

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An area closure order will soon be in place "prohibiting access to the hot springs, tubs, and general vicinity," officials added.

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