Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman issued an alert for residents to be aware that this week's warm weather may trigger flood conditions on the Bitterroot River.

Office of Emergency Services Director Erik Hoover said on Tuesday afternoon the warming temperatures this week will cause accelerated snowmelt.

"This will cause a rise in river and stream levels that may approach flood stage this weekend," Hoover said. "We're encouraging residents in flood-prone areas to be aware of the forecast and make any preparations they may choose to do. Sand and sandbags are available to residents through their local fire districts."

Hoover points out which areas along the Bitterroot River are most likely to see flooding first.

"There are areas adjacent to the Bitterroot River that are prone to flooding," Hoover said. "Some of the tributaries and streams could rise, and the fishing access sites will likely have water coming into them. There could also be higher waters around irrigation ditches."

Hoover encouraged anyone recreating near the river to be aware of the high, fast water and to know the dangers of being around the dangerous conditions.

"No evacuations are anticipated at this time, but according to the National Weather Service, the river levels could reach the minor flooding stages, and in the past, no evacuations have been necessary," he said.

Office of Emergency Services Director Erik Hoover

In the attached release, find phone numbers to Ravalli County Fire Districts where sand and sandbags are available.