P.O. Box C • Ouray, Colorado 81427 • 970-325-7320 • FAX: 970-325-0452
March 23, 2020
Contact: Lance FitzGerald, Ouray County Sheriff Phone: 970-325-7272
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS PROMPT REQUEST TO REFRAIN FROM OUTDOOR ACTIVITY IN OURAY COUNTY
The Ouray County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Ouray County Unified Command, requests that
people do not take part in high-risk outdoor activities until further notice. Such activities may
include backpacking, climbing, backcountry skiing, and other backcountry activities that put you at
an elevated risk for rescue.
Outdoor recreationists may get sick, lost, or injured and require assistance. The responding rescue
team of local volunteers could be forced to break social distancing and State-mandated isolation by
sharing rescue equipment, radios, and vehicles. By having to respond to these type of incidents,
outdoor enthusiasts could be taking those rescuers out of service for weeks due to post-mission
quarantine protocols. Preventable backcountry injury also strains the response time for other
critical accidents, as well as stress to the ambulance and emergency room services.
Low-risk outdoor activities are still strongly encouraged, provided those participating adhere to
prescribed social distancing, personal hygiene protocols, and formulate a reliable plan for self-
rescue in the event a mishap does occur.
Ouray County is experiencing typical mountain spring weather, which often brings heavy, wet snow
storms, increasing the avalanche danger in the backcountry considerably.
Please do your part in preventing backcountry accidents and protecting our vital group of