Warm weather brings muddy spring road conditions

| March 19, 2020 10:01 AM

Snow and ice melt are creating muddy conditions on many Flathead National Forest roads.

People planning on driving in the forest should use caution and plan on turning around if they find soft roads. Motorists may encounter roads that the forest has temporarily closed to prevent damage. It’s also important for people to use good judgement if they find an open road that seems too wet for travel.

Traveling on soft roadbeds can lead to expensive repairs and longer-term closures to fix problems.

This winter has been the third warmest on record in lower elevation areas around Flathead Valley. Though snowfall has been average, warm temperatures are causing snow and ice to melt faster, and people may be surprised to find conditions they typically see later in the spring prevalent at this time of year.

Some Flathead National Forest roads are already developing deep ruts. The forest typically suspends all hauling operations at this time of year to protect soft roads from commercial loads.