KETCHUM, Idaho (KLIX) Areas near the Wood River Valley are being closed off to help big game animals during the winter. The Ketchum Ranger District says the closure is in the Warm Springs drainage and went into effect Wednesday.

All forest land from the West Fork of Warm Springs east to the town of Ketchum and north of the Warms Springs road in the drainage are closed. Signs are posted at access points in those areas. Officials say the deep snow has warranted the routine closure for big game animals like elk and deer.

The goal is to make sure animals are not forced to use energy attempting to avoid people. Visitors to the backcountry are also asked to keep their distance if they see large animals so not to disturb them.

Please contact the Ketchum Ranger District at 208-622-0090 for additional information on this closure.