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Posted: June 26, 2013

The backcountry is awash in washouts

A Columbia Valley loader operator was lucky to have survived when a FSR bridge he was working off partially collapsed June 20. His machine toppled into the fast-flowing Mitchell Creek, trapping him almost completely under the water. Barely able to catch quick breaths, Matt (the operator) was lucky to have his cousin Jamie nearby and Dave Wolfe on a backhoe. They managed to pull Matt to the side with his backhoe and he crawled to safety. Matt and Jaimie were transported to Invermere and District Hospital for treatment for hypothermia.  Photo submitted
A Columbia Valley loader operator was lucky to have survived when a FSR bridge he was working off partially collapsed June 20. His machine toppled into the fast-flowing Mitchell Creek, trapping him almost completely under the water. Barely able to catch quick breaths, Matt (the operator) was lucky to have his cousin Jamie nearby and Dave Wolfe on a backhoe. They managed to pull Matt to the side with his backhoe and he crawled to safety. Matt and Jaimie were transported to Invermere and District Hospital for treatment for hypothermia.
Photo submitted

If you are thinking about venturing into the backcountry of the East Kootenay – that vast Crown land paradise we are so blessed to have at our disposal – forget about it for the time being.

The list of B.C. Forest Service Road (FSR) closures due to washouts, bridge damage, high water and landslides is currently epic reading.

Only a few major FSRs in the region are NOT on the list below.

Backcountry Safety Reminder

The BC Forest Service is requesting people not travel on back roads until the conditions are drier for safety reasons and to prevent rutting on the roads. Forest Service Road closures at present include:

Perry Creek FSR
Perry Creek FSR

Perry Creek – bridge at 2km will be closed from July 2 to July 6 for deck replacement.

Flathead FSR – from Corbin south to Flathead town site there are multiple washouts including all bridges and culverts.

McClatchie FSR – is closed at the Squaw Creek Bridge due to bridge washout.

River Road FSR – at 3km, near Elko, approach to bridge is damaged. Use caution when crossing.

Wildhorse FSR – is closed at 15.5km due to large rocks on road.

Mause Creek FSR – is closed at 4km due to land slide on road.

Summer Lake FSR – is closed at 50km due to washout.

Mitchell Creek FSR – is closed at 32km due to bridge washed out.

White River (Whiteswan) FSR – is closed at 32.5km due to bridge approach washout; 37km due to washout; and 44km bridge is washed out.

Bull River FSR – is closed at 32km due to water on road; 52km and 54km half of road gone and not passable; 63km and 68km due to washouts; 71km due to land slide; 92km due to river on road; and 94km due to washout. (Lead image is of Bull River/Road)

Elk River FSR
Elk River FSR

Elk River FSR – is closed at 2km due to water on road; 104km; 118km and 123km road closed due to washout; 125km bridge approach is washed out; 138km due to debris slide on road; 140km bridge is closed (both approaches washed out); 145km Weary Creek bridge washed out.

Kootenay FSR – is closed at 5km due to water flowing over road; 32km due to bridge approach to washout.

Skookumchuk FSR – is closed at 35km due to washout.

St. Marys West Fork – bridge is closed at 10km due to washout at bridge.

Findlay FSR – is closed at 20km due to high water. High potential for bridge damage.

Lavington FSR – is closed at 18km due to washout at bridge.

Albert River – is closed at 56km due to washout.

St. Mary’s Lake outlet bridge – is closed due to high water and instability. The bridge is closed at this time. The bridge will be replaced between July 15 to August 31.

Jumbo Pass Road – is closed at 9km due to avalanche.

Gray Creek Pass – is closed at 3km due to washout.

For up-to-date information go to: Rocky Mountain Forest District

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