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DCSO SAR has backcountry safety reminders as snowstorms move in

DCSO SAR snowmobile team file
Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue
Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue snowmobile team

Warns of increased risk of tree well issues, avalanche danger

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The National Weather Service is predicting a round of storms that could bring significant snow to the higher elevations of Deschutes County.  The Cascade Range including sno-parks along Century Drive are expected to receive large amounts of snow through next Wednesday.

"Although fresh snow is exciting and a draw for backcountry recreationalists, we want to urge those traveling into the mountains to use caution," Deschutes County sheriff's Sgt. Nathan Garibay, Emergency Services Manager/Assistant Search and Rescue Coordinator, said Friday in a news release. 

"The snow conditions could be challenging for all but the most experienced and will increase the risk of tree well issues and avalanche danger," he added. 

"Additionally, these conditions challenge rescuers and increase our response times to backcountry emergencies.  Ski, snowshoe and snowmobile trails are already becoming hard to distinguish in some areas, which make it difficult to navigate."

For additional information on tree well safety, visit

For additional information on local avalanche conditions, visit:

Any backcountry travelers should have proper gear (including avalanche gear) and food for 24 hours, ensure they have adequately charged cell phones, and should tell someone where they are going. 

For more information on backcountry preparedness, visit:

Even those who are not traveling far into the forest could expect hazardous road conditions and should ensure their vehicles are equipped for the conditions. 

"We recommend all travelers also carry additional supplies in the event they become stranded," Garibay said. "Those camping in the forest could find themselves stranded and should consider moving to lower elevations."

Central Oregon / Deschutes County / News / Weather

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