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Madison County Search and Rescue shares the importance of avalanche beacons

MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - Next time you head out into the backcountry of Madison County, you may see a new tool Madison County Search and Rescue has put in place to protect enthusiasts. That tool is an avalanche beacon board.

The board is designed to try and save lives and keep people safe in the backcountry. It has a box that will light up to share whether or not your avalanche beacon is transmitting a signal. Think of the beacon board as a backcountry traffic light.

"If it's red, you stop. Goes green, then you can go," Max Radford, a Madison County Search and Rescue Member and a Moody Powder Pusher Club member, said.

Radford shares how Madison County isn't exempt from an avalanche. He recalls quite a few people who fell victim to a backcountry avalanche.

"Kade and Jason got buried two years ago up here on the towers. Rob Kincaid, RMR, got buried five years ago...Moroni, that's over, Search and rescue as a leader for Madison County, we were up here and just going for a ride. Moroni had his radio on and we got the call that there was a kid that had an accident up here with his knee. So we went to that and the helicopter could land for us because it was too foggy. And that was the day Rob Kincaid was buried," Radford said.

Preventing further fatalities from avalanches in the region is the goal for Radford and his club members and search and rescue teammates.

Beacons are a good tool but there are other steps you can take before your next back-country trip.

"There's avalanche centers all over the United States. You go to that site and you can pick the location where you're going to be riding and hopefully pick up the forecast for that particular day is updated every morning," Richard Robertson, from the Moody Powder pushers, said.

For more information on avalanche safety and links to our nearest forecasting centers, you can find it in a previous story here.

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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