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1 man believed dead, 2 others found alive after Idaho avalanche, authorities say

Mullan, Idaho — Two men were found alive and a third was believed dead after an avalanche Thursday afternoon in the Idaho back country, authorities said.

It happened near Stevens Peak, which is close to the Montana border, authorities said.

Initially, all three were missing but two were found alive after searchers were able to contact them via GPS texting, according to the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office.

CBS Spokane, Wash. affiliate KREM-TV reports that they were being brought to a hospital and one is thought to have suffered a broken arm.

The office said the two provided information that led it to believe the third man died at the avalanche site. "Due to this information," the office said, "we have concluded our search efforts for the safety of all those involved for this evening. We will be conducting a retrieval mission for the third male in the morning."

The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office said the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Air Force, Silver Valley Search and Rescue and the Silver Mountain Ski Patrol assisted in the search.

Authorities didn't say what the three men were doing in the area, which is several miles southwest of the Lookout Peak ski area and more than 90 miles from Missoula, Montana.

The area had been under an avalanche danger warning for several days because of snowfall and blowing winds that have created unstable conditions on high, steep slopes.

The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center warned that avalanches triggered by human activity "remain likely" on steeper terrain.

The avalanche came a day after the first U.S. avalanche death of the season was reported in California. An avalanche roared through a section of expert trails at the Palisades Tahoe ski resort near Lake Tahoe Wednesday morning, trapping four people. One of them was killed and another was injured.

A second avalanche struck the same area near Lake Tahoe on Thursday but there were no reported casualties.

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