Search continues for missing hunters in Flattops
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A search resumed this morning for three lost hunters in the Flattops Wilderness Area in remote northeastern Garfield County.
According to a Garfield County Search and Rescue press release issued this morning, a group of five hunters from Denver set out into the area over the weekend to hunt big game.
All five hunters left their camp on foot Saturday morning, but three did not return that evening. The two hunters who did return to camp searched all day Sunday and notified law enforcement of the missing parties that evening.
Due to the time of day and inclement weather moving into the area, officials could not begin the search until 6 a.m. Monday. At that time 23 searchers, eight from Garfield County Search and Rescue and 15 Mesa County Search and Rescue personnel, gathered at the White Owl Cabin, located approximately 30 miles up Coffee Pot Road and conducted overland searches on foot as well as using four-wheelers and snowmobiles. At approximately 5:30 p.m. the search was suspended due to heavy snow and high winds.
Searchers remained in the area overnight and resumed the search this morning with 22 personnel from Garfield and Mesa counties, plus two from Vail Mountain Rescue/Eagle County, mainly using snowmobiles.
Today’s weather forecast for the search area is similar to yesterday’s, with heavy snow and high winds and overnight temperatures dropping into the upper teens.
“There may be a language barrier with the lost hunters,” according to the press release. “Searchers are asking that if anyone may have or does come in contact with missing hunters to notify authorities immediately by calling 911.”
Also involved in the search were the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management and Victim Response Team and the Colorado Division of Wildlife
Officials issued a reminder to those going into the back country to be prepared for winter conditions, and to have proper gear such as a GPS, warm clothing, fire starter and adequate food/water. Persons should also let someone know where they are going, what equipment they are taking, and when to expect their return.
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