FWP Officials Put New Caution Signs After Tragic Fatality On Riv - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

FWP Officials Put New Caution Signs After Tragic Fatality On River

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MISSOULA -

A 6-year-old girl died yesterday after a drift boat she was in capsized in the Bitterroot River. Officials say the group was on a dangerous part of the river where signs caution boaters, but some are asking-- should officials do more to warn boaters of the dangers or should it be up to the boaters to take the necessary caution?

Montana's Fish,Wildlife & Parks Officials say they will be adding more caution signs after yesterday's fatality. Today we spoke to boaters and wildlife officials about these warning signs.

With the rivers water levels high and full of multiple hazards, Montana's FWP officials have several caution signs for people to see but within the next few days more will be added.

FWP's Information and Education Officer Vivica Crowser wants to remind people that the rivers change quickly making it is hard to put up signs for every hazard.

"There are always hazards that come with rivers, everything from debris that you can see, the debris that is hidden under the water, to log jams. We just want to remind people of that and encourage that outreach but typically these hazards aren't signed because hazards change weekly, even daily as the river fluctuates," Crowser said.

There are times when river signs are damaged or hidden due to plant growth but Crowser said river staff and wardens check regularly on the signs and respond quickly to reports of any damage.

Jordan Owens, who paddles river rapids almost everyday, notices the lack of warning signs on many of the near rivers.

"I think it's a good idea particularly high water or areas where there's known to be bigger rapids," Owens said.

Aside from the added signs to help people be aware of river hazards, Crowser said people need to be educated about the river they are going to be on. Check the water conditions, know where the marked dams are and always have a map.

The new signs that FWP will be putting out in the next few days are mostly to indicate spots on the river where people can get out and port around dangerous areas.

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