Early February marks deadliest week on record for avalanches in US

National News

In this Feb. 3, 2021, photo provided by Matt Helm of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, two volunteers are shown after an avalanche in the Bear Mountain area near Chugiak, Alaska. The rescue group and troopers found the bodies of three hikers in the avalanche slide. (Matt Helm/Alaska Mountain Rescue Group via AP)

Officials say early February has been the deadliest week ever for avalanches in the United States.

According to data from the U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche Center, since Feb. 1, 14 people have died, which is the highest number of fatalities the agency has ever recorded in seven days.

On Saturday, four skiers were killed after an avalanche swept through in a backcountry ski area near Salt Lake City, Utah.

In Colorado, four people in total were killed last week in avalanches.

On Feb. 1, three skiers were killed in an area known as The Nose, which is located southeast of Ophir, Colorado. According to the CAIC, four backcountry skiers were caught; one was partially buried but rescued.

One skier was killed on Feb. 4 in an area known as Marvin’s near East Vail Chutes. KMGH reported that John Kuo, 41, of Vail, was skiing when he was caught in an avalanche and died.

According to CAIC, 21 people have been killed since the beginning of the 2020-21 season:

  • 3 in Alaska
  • 1 in California
  • 8 in Colorado
  • 1 in Montana
  • 1 in New Hampshire
  • 6 in Utah
  • 1 in Wyoming

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