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RCMP say search for missing snowmobiler in B.C. now a recovery operation

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Mounties in British Columbia say they believe the search for a missing snowmobiler south of Chetwynd is now a recovery operation.

Authorities believe the 31-year-old Fort St. John man was buried in an avalanche triggered on Feb. 2. on the east face of the Murray Mountain Range, south of Pine Le Moray Provincial Park.

Police say the missing man's snowmobile was recovered, but the search has now been scaled back.

RCMP Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey says police will monitor the area from the air as the snowpack melts.

Police say search-and-rescue technicians trained in high-risk avalanche rescues were deployed alongside RCMP service dogs and a helicopter.

But they say poor weather prevented access to the area for two days last week, and controlled blasting was necessary to allow searchers to safely regain access to the area on Friday.

RCMP are asking backcountry users to avoid the area.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2020.

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