The Haines Avalanche Center has reduced the avalanche risk assessment for the Beach Road landslide path to “moderate.”

The risk level was lowered “due to improving weather and snow conditions,” the center said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, noting that conditions change daily and the danger could rise again with the next storm system. “Please keep aware of the conditions and minimize time spent in the path,” the statement reads.

Until Wednesday, the avalanche center had warned that recent heavy snowfall had created considerable avalanche risk in the slide path, recommending residents avoid use of the temporary ATV road that crosses the area during “times of heavy precipitation, strong warming, rain-on-snow or direct sunlight.”

In an interview Monday, avalanche center director Erik Stevens said the warning was issued because enough snow had accumulated in the slide path that it was possible an avalanche in the area could pose a threat for someone crossing the pioneer road. The assembly earlier this month voted to fund the local group to monitor the slide.

March will be at least the fourth snowiest on record. As of Tuesday evening, 50.9 inches of snow had fallen in Haines in March, 4.4 inches behind the third-place record with eight days to go. In total this winter, Haines has received 204 inches of snow, 154 inches behind the same period of time during the record-setting 2011-2012 season.

“There’s around three meters of snowpack at the top of the path, enough snow now that a lot of anchors on the path have been buried. It’s a little unlikely, but based on the geometry of the area and snow pits we’ve dug, it’s now possible for a large enough slide to happen that it could hit the road,” Stevens said.

He said he hasn’t observed any significant snow movement so far. “We’ve seen a small amount of sloughing at the top but nothing big.”

Stevens said even when the area was deemed higher risk, Beach Road residents were still able to cross the slide.

“It doesn’t rise to the level of danger that we recommend no one use the road. We just want people to have a heads up that they shouldn’t be out there during times of heavy precipitation, they shouldn’t be hanging out there for an extended period of time,” he said, adding that crossing avalanche paths is fairly common for backcountry travelers and even on highways in Alaska.

“As long as a person is moving through a path quickly, their risk is low and generally considered acceptable,” he said.

Stevens said what makes the Beach Road path unusual is its newness. “We don’t know anything about it for sure—if the anchors are enough to prevent large avalanches from happening. We don’t know if berms will prevent it from hitting the road.”

He said the center plans to keep the community informed as more data is gathered.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather scientists said it’s possible Haines could see more snow over the weekend. “We have a system coming up this weekend with a lot of deep moisture. However, it does look like it will bring in a lot of warm air as well. We don’t have a lot of snow in the forecast for Haines.”

Overall, the winter has been cooler than average—possibly the coolest Oct. 1 through March 30 in a decade, according to NOAA.

Snow records date back to 2001.