(CNN)A Washington state trooper was killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling Monday in Kittitas County, Washington, the county sheriff's office said in a press release.
A Washington state trooper was killed in an avalanche while snowmobiling, officials say
Search-and-rescue crews recovered trooper Steve Houle, 51, of Cle Elum from the avalanche. He was a 28-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said in the release.
He is at least the 15th person to die in an avalanche in little more than a week. The first seven days of the month marked a record for the deadliest week of US avalanches.
The avalanche struck in the French Cabin Creek area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, north of Cle Elum, in Kittitas County, nearly 100 miles southeast of Seattle.
"On behalf of the Sheriff's Office, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Trooper Houle's family, friends and the Washington State Patrol," Sheriff Clay Myers said. "This is a tragic accident and will be felt hard in our close-knit law enforcement community."
Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste said the Houle was a "fixture" in the county and will be greatly missed.