Three bird hunters from Tacoma and two hikers from Sumner were rescued by the Lewis County Sheriff and Search and Rescue team in separate incidents Monday after getting trapped in snow in Gifford Pinchot National Forest near Ashford.
Both groups were reported missing Monday after failing to return from Sunday daytrips, according to a statement released by the sheriff’s office. Both parties were dressed for the cold weather and stayed with their vehicles overnight.
The party from Tacoma was rescued eight mile up Forest Road 84. The Sumner party was rescued eight miles up Forest Road 85.
The statement from the Lewis County Sheriff’s office said two feet of fresh snow made the rescue difficult. Both parties were trapped when their vehicles got stuck in deep snow.
“We encourage outdoor recreation in Lewis County but people need to take precautions in extreme weather,” Sheriff Steve Mansfield said in a prepared statement. “Have a plan in place, let people know where you are going and when you plan on returning, take your cell phone with you but remember cell phones often don’t work in remote areas. Dress warmly and take extra food and water with you in case of an emergency.”