- Associated Press - Thursday, December 25, 2014

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center has issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone.

Heavy snowfall and strong winds from several directions have combined to create widespread instability. The avalanche danger is rated high on all slopes. The center recommends against traveling in avalanche terrain and runout zones.

Overnight, 7 to 11 inches of snow fell near Big Sky and the Bridger Ran while 6 to 8 inches fell in the mountains near West Yellowstone and Cooke City. The new snow that fell Wednesday and Thursday buried weak layers of snow, creating the danger of both natural and human triggered avalanches.

In western Montana, an avalanche warning remains in effect in the Whitefish and Swan ranges and the southern part of Glacier National Park above 5,000 feet.

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