MISSOULA – The sun is out and the skies are blue, but Monday’s mild weather does not lessen the threat of avalanche conditions on Mount Jumbo and surrounding areas.
Officials want to remind residents to stay off the closed mountain and be aware of slide conditions in the backcountry.
Avalanche experts have been monitoring conditions throughout the last few days. They say the snowpack is four to five feet deep in places and unstable.
They want to remind people to stay off Mount Jumbo, as it’s closed due to an urban avalanche warning.
Experts recommend that property owners at the base of the mountain from Missoula Avenue to Elm Street should stay out of their back yards and call 911 if they see snow slides.
Residents should also call 911 immediately if they see human activity on Mount Jumbo. Fresh ski tracks were found on the mountain over the weekend a big red flag considering that the 2014 fatal slide was human-triggered.
Missoula City Fire Chief Jeff Brandt says they are in close contact with the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation on any changes in conditions.
“We are consistently keeping in contact with the avalanche center,” Brandt said. “We’re keeping track with the weather service and any system moving in. Next couple of days look pretty good, any major change in that or expectations of those changes happen up on the hill, we’ll have Travis and his team going up and checking out.”
“Big thing, let’s remember it’s not just Mount Jumbo that we’re concentrating on. It’s Mount Jumbo, Mount Sentinel in and around the area and the backcountry. We have dangerous avalanche conditions throughout the area.”
Reporting by Kent Luetzen for MTN News