The Forest Service Sawtooth Avalanche Center in Ketchum, Idaho has made the announcement that there is a high avalanche danger in backcountry areas in Blaine County. Please avoid the areas in the danger zones.

According to the avalanche center, due to windy conditions and the heavy snowfall overnight and into today, there will almost definitely be widespread avalanches in the backcountry areas.

The areas that are in the danger zone are the Sawtooth, Smoky, White Cloud, Boulder, Soldier, and Pioneer Mountains. Also in the high danger zones are the mountains near Stanley, Smiley Creek, Galena Summit, Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey.

The avalanche warning is in effect until Wednesday, December 15th through 6 am. The news release stated that travelers should stay away from slopes steeper than 30 degrees and avalanches can run through forests and into mature trees.

According to the Sawtooth Avalanche Centers website, over 3 feet of snow has fallen over the last 24 hours and more snow is predicted in the forecast. A potential foot or more may fall throughout the day. Natural and human-triggered avalanches are very likely and traveling through backcountry areas is a huge hazard. Avalanches may impact roads, trails, and even homes and structures in the valley.

If you do not have to travel in the area it is best that you do not, stay safe and avoid high danger areas if at all possible. And above all stay safe out there.

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