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Instagrammers want sunflower selfies. Solano County officials want them to stop trespassing

July 2018 image of a field of sunflowers in Citrona, Calif. In neighboring Solano County, the sherif
This July 2018 image shows a field of sunflowers in Citrona, Calif. In neighboring Solano County, the Sheriff’s Office issued a stern warning last week asking visitors to be respectful of private property when taking photos.
(Noah Berger / Associated Press)

Step off the sunflower fields, selfie-takers.

The Solano County Sheriff’s Office issued a stern warning last week asking visitors to be respectful of private property when taking photos after heightened concerns from farmers of traffic congestion, trespassing and property damage.

Deputy Jim Currie said in a Facebook post published on behalf of the department that he understands the allure of Solano County’s “eye-catching fields.” Still, he said the environmental impact on the farms as well as traffic congestion are causing noticeable concern among local property owners.

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“Recently, several properties have seen an uptick in visitors stopping on the side of the road to take photos in front — and sometimes even inside their fields,” the Facebook post read. “This is illegal, and farmers have every right to request selfie seekers stay off their private property.”

The agricultural region in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley produces 99% of California’s sunflowers, according to a 2016 report by UC Davis, and Solano County is a leader in production.

Reminiscent of Lake Elsinore’s “super bloom” of California poppies earlier this year, nearly 50,000 acres of sunflowers — many of which can be seen along major highways in Yolo, Solano and Colusa counties — are expected to reach their peak blooms from mid-June to mid-August, according to SFGate.com.

As with the super bloom, officials hope selfie-seekers enjoy — but don’t trample — the bright yellow spectacle while parking safely and respecting the area’s private farmland.

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