FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – After four deaths in one week and dozens of other avalanches, the small team at the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is hoping to grow, but that costs money.
It’s been a year they’ve called historic.
“The last month really has been incredibly busy for us and we have very limited resources,” Aaron Carlson with Friends of the CAIC said.
Every time there’s a deadly slide or even one that just injures somebody the CAIC sends at least one member into the field to study it. There’s only about a dozen people employed by the CAIC and half are forecasters covering the 10 mountain regions.
“Everyone at the Avalanche Center has been working very hard for the last 20 days or so,” CAIC Director Dr. Ethan Greene said. “So I think we’re all just tired, just physically tired.
The nonprofit group, Friends of the CAIC, is trying to change that. They are hoping to raise $130,000 by April so four new staff members can be hired for next season.
“To really have forecasters in all of our zones — versus six working in 10 zones,” Carlson said.
The CAIC gets 75 percent of its budget from the state and almost all of that is comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation, but the Avalanche Center relies on donations to fully fund the program through the winter. Friends of the CAIC is outpacing last year’s fundraising by $70,000, but that’s still not enough.
“We do really need to be developing the best avalanche center in the country, and to do that we need more money to fund more positions to get more information to our users,” Carlson said.
To help out the CAIC visit dev.friendsofcaic.org/donate/donation.html