The Bitterroot National Forest is advising winter recreationists and others traveling into the woods to use extreme caution while driving on Forest Service roads.  With higher than normal temperatures this winter and below average snowpack, drivers are able to access more areas than normal in January.  However, many of these areas are experiencing excessive snowmelt during the day and the resulting runoff freezes at night, creating sheets of ice that are dangerous to negotiate.  As weather warms there could be water on top of ice or as we get snow it will be snow on ice creating additional safety hazards.  At the same time, the runoff also creates a soft roadbed that is easily damaged by vehicle traffic.

For the latest backcountry weather conditions and avalanche warnings visit www.missoulaavalanche.org