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Rescuers warn against back roads

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho - Have you been mudding lately? Have you ever done it on accident? One county says people are doing it on accident more often. Dirt roads may look harmless, but add some rain and snow and conditions could become dangerous. Fremont County Search and Rescue Commander Brett Mackert said people don't think about this before they hit the road.

"We ask that people plan ahead and to think about the environment they're going out into and think about what could happen," said Mackert.

He said people often overestimate their driving skills, especially when it comes to back roads.

"Well you have to remember what the conditions are. I mean when you go into the back country this time of year, the roads are slick," he said.

It can be slick enough to leave your car sliding into a reservoir or mud. Mackert says people forget that their car isn't a snowmobile, which forces volunteers to leave work just to clean up a mess that could have been prevented.

"They (rescue volunteers) go to the site to go take care of it, and they're losing wages," said Mackert.

Mackert doesn't want people to get him wrong. He loves volunteering for his community, but he says the less people participate in reckless fun and misjudge, the better.

"You got to put that on a scale and decide, 'Is the fun that I'm about to have worth dragging someone out there to get me if I get in trouble?' If it leans the wrong way, maybe you don't need to do it," he said.

So what can you do to make sure all is well in back road country?

  1. Tell someone where you are going to be and for how long.
  2. Make sure your vehicle is in good enough shape to endure the weather if you get stranded. This means having more than enough fuel to last until the next day.
  3. Blankets, extra food and fresh water will help if you do get stranded overnight.

Fremont County Search and Rescue officials said they have seen about a dozen cases so far, which could increase as hunting season continues along with deep winter.

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