UPDATED: Jerome man identified in fatal avalanche

Officials confirmed there was an avalanche at Baker Creek on Wednesday. (Source: MGN)
Officials confirmed there was an avalanche at Baker Creek on Wednesday. (Source: MGN)(KMVT)
Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 5:50 PM MST
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UPDATE 1:15 P.M. Thursday

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office has identified the man killed as Kirk Douglas Rongen, age 50 of Jerome.

According to a press release, Rongen was located by his transponder, but was unable to be revived and passed away at the scene.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center will be investigating the technical aspects of the slide. Initial reports indicate that a slab avalanche failed on a wind-loaded south/southwestern slope near 9000 feet.


Officials confirmed there was an avalanche in the Baker Creek area on Wednesday.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center said the avalanche killed one snowmobiler. Two snowmobilers were caught in the avalanche at about 9,000 feet elevation.

In a Facebook post, the avalanche center said one of the riders was able to escape and locate his partner, who was fully buried. The rider cleared snow from the rider's face.

The partner and a rescuer were unable to revive the victim.

The avalanche occurred about a half mile north east of Baker Lake.

Blaine County Sheriff’s Office responded the area along with other agencies.

Officials are expected to release more information Thursday.

KMVT will keep you updated as we get information. The latest will be posted on

A snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche on Wednesday, January 15th, in the Baker Creek drainage approximately 0.5 miles...

Posted by Sawtooth Avalanche Center on Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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