Vegas Information
4 people found safe after avalanche in Nevada ski resort near Las Vegas
4 people found safe after avalanche in Nevada ski resort near Las Vegas

4 people found safe after avalanche in Nevada ski resort near Las Vegas Four people who were reported missing after an avalanche in southern Nevada have been found safe Monday, authorities said. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that four people were initially reported missing in the Lee Canyon and Mount Charleston area in Clark County, Nevada. Search and rescue teams responded to the scene Monday afternoon, where the four were located in safe condition. Clark County officials and police urged residents and the public to avoid traveling in the area. Police said emergency personnel were assisting people off the mountain. “Conditions are hazardous due to the weather,” Las Vegas police said on X, formerly Twitter. “Please avoid the area until the weather and conditions improve.” Lee Canyon, about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The canyon is home to southern Nevada’s only ski resort, the Lee Canyon Ski and Snowboard Resort. Earlier Monday, the ski resort reported a 24-hour snowfall total of 11.5 inches. The area is also under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. The weather service had warned residents about the winter storm system, which is part of the same atmospheric river pummeling California. The storm hit parts of Nevada on Sunday and will last until Tuesday, bringing heavy rainfall and snow. “This storm is not letting up, the roads are dicey even for cars with proper equipment,” Mount Charleston officials said on X Monday morning. Latest avalanche incident this year So far this year, there have been four avalanche fatalities in the United States, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Dozens of avalanche fatalities occur each year across the country, the CAIC said. Incidents mostly involve backcountry skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers. In January, an avalanche barreled down a ski resort near Lake Tahoe, California, killing one and injuring three others. About a day later, two men were rescued and one man was presumed dead after an avalanche swept through a mountain on Idaho’s panhandle. Stay in the know: For more updates, sign up for USA TODAY’s Daily Briefing. Avalanche risk increases amid surge in backcountry recreation Avalanche prevention experts have warned of an increased risk of avalanches as more skiers and snowmobilers visit backcountry areas each year. Extreme weather, including the recent winter storms, also contributes to avalanche conditions. The minimal snowfall across the western United States in the early season has created an unstable layer at the bottom of the snowpack, The Associated Press reported. Dangerous conditions are likely to continue for months, Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, told AP. Last month, the CAIC reported an uptick in avalanche activity across Colorado. By early January, the state had already recorded over 900 avalanches. Since the season began on Oct. 1, Colorado has experienced about 2,000 avalanches, CAIC spokesperson Kelsy Been previously told USA TODAY. The high number of avalanches wasn’t surprising due to the conditions caused by recent storms. Officials knew it was “going to be really dangerous and cause a lot of avalanches,” Been said. ‘Considerable’ risk before incident: Forecast warned of avalanche risk ahead of deadly avalanche at Palisades Tahoe ski resort Contributing: Amaris Encinas, USA TODAY

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