Officials Looking for Foresthill Bridge Base Jumping Solution

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AUBURN-

At 730 feet, the Foresthill Bridge is the tallest bridge in California and fourth in the country. That's the reason many base jumpers are making their way to Placer County.

"It apparently happens a lot. We don't see it because they do it at night, and this happened to be a full moon, so they assumed because everyone was jumping because it was a full moon and you can see the canyon," said Dena Erwin, with the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Placer County deputies arrested a 37-year-old man from Michigan who just just about to jump during a full moon last week. Ten others jumped before officers could stop them.

And, just a couple of years ago, deputies rescued a young man whose chute got caught up in some trees.

"We have cut people, their chutes were hanging 60 feet over the ground, and the helicopter had to lower one of our guys, a great risk to everyone" Erwin said.

But supervising Ranger Scott Liske said State Parks and the county are working on a safe solution.

They hope to have one day of sanctioned base jumping in 2017.

Liske visited West Virginia two years ago to witness that state's Bridge Day, he said.

Base jumping has been allowed on that day for more than 30 years and that's something the sheriff's department can get behind.

"It's a sanctioned event, they're gonna have safety in place, we're all for that," Erwin said.

But at the Foresthill Bridge, only experienced jumpers would be invited to participate, which means no first-time jumpers.

"I think it'd be a great idea 'cause there's so many people that want to do it up here," Auburn resident John Smith said.

Stephanie Vince came from England and paid a visit to the Foresthill Bridge on Monday. She said base jumping is legal in many parts of her country.

"As long as they're being safe and and they don't, obviously, hurt themselves ... they should be allowed to do it," Vince said.

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