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1 person dead after avalanche in backcountry near Merritt

Last Updated Jan 4, 2020 at 10:57 pm PDT

(Source: iStock)

Police launched a search and rescue mission after receiving a call around 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Merritt RCMP say the avalanche near Cabin Lake and Prospect Creek

Mounties say one person is reportedly trapped and requires urgent care

MERRITT, B.C. – Police say one person has died following an avalanche near Merritt, B.C.

RCMP say search and rescue personnel reached the avalanche site near Cabin Lake and Prospect Creek by air Saturday afternoon.

B.C. RCMP spokesman Jesse O’Donaghey says searchers found the victim, who did not survive.

The Mounties say initial reports from the scene suggested one person was trying to find a second person trapped by the slide.

They say the two men were snowmobiling together in the backcountry when the avalanche happened.

O’Donaghey says the BC Coroners Service has been notified and is investigating the man’s death.

Police are asking people to monitor conditions and stay out of the back country.

Avalanche Canada has issued a rare warning of “extreme risk” for parts of B.C.

The organization said in a statement that it “rarely sees” extreme avalanche danger and its website indicates large avalanches are “almost certain” on alpine and treeline sections of slopes in the region that includes Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Those risks are expected to remain for the Sea-to-Sky mountains through Saturday and Avalanche Canada says high risk ratings were also in effect Friday for several mountain ranges from the northwest coast to the Alberta boundary.