Mon, March 30, 2020

CNFAIC suspends backcountry avalanche forecasts until further notice

Official USFS and CNFAIC Press Statement:

The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center (CNFAIC) is suspending backcountry avalanche forecasts and field operations beginning Monday, March 30th until further notice. This decision is in response to the State of Alaska’s COVID-19 Health Mandates that are now in effect and their impact on CNFAIC field operations. This decision is not taken lightly.

As an organization built upon promoting public safety, the CNFAIC priority at this time is maintaining the health and well-being of our staff and of our communities. Following both Alaska’s Social Distancing and Intrastate Travel mandates are vital. Just as we strive to be informed backcountry partners, now is the time to heed the advice of CDC, State health experts and mandates and stick close to home in a shared effort to slow the spread of this virus.

We understand the draw of the mountains, the need to be outside, to recreate, and to enjoy the Alaskan backcountry during these uncertain times. When recreating, please stay local to your community. Please also consider the effects you may unknowingly have on others, first responders, and SAR professionals.

CNFAIC staff will remain committed to continuing to support our communities and fulfilling our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor and record weather data and avalanche information, which will still be available at Watch for updates on the advisory page and social media channels. Follow us on Facebook @Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center and on Instagram @chugachavy.

As a reminder, visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus can be found HERE.

Thank you everyone for your support, your time, doing your part and for taking a moment to read this statement.
From the CNFAIC staff