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Special public avalanche warning released for eastern B.C.

The warning was released on Thursday (Feb. 29) and will be in place until March 4
(Avalanche Canada)

With recent heavy snowfall, coupled with weak layers established early in February, Avalanche Canada, Parks Canada, Kananaskis Country and the Province of B.C. released a special public avalanche warning.

From Feb. 27–28, western Alberta and much of eastern B.C. received significant snowfall ranging from 20 to more than 40 centimetres. The fresh snow landed on “prominent weak layers” of snow that had developed earlier in the month. Now, a special public avalanche warning has been issued for the region to keep the backcountry safe.

“We’ve been tracking these weak layers closely over this past month,” explained Avalanche Canada forecaster Tyson Rettie in the press release.

The layers, Rettie said, have different structures depending on the region but the result is the same.

“Highly problematic layers that remain reactive to human triggering,” he said.

Rettie acknowledged that given the amount of fresh snow that just fell throughout the region, many backcountry goers will be eager to get out and take advantage of it. He cautioned the public not to underestimate the conditions, and that any avalanche “could be deadly.”

Avalanche Canada is urging all backcountry users to use extreme caution, and to make careful terrain choices when navigating the area. The organization recommended sticking to lower-angle slopes and to opt for “smaller objectives” to minimize the potential consequences of an avalanche.

As always, Avalanche Canada reiterated the importance of every party being equipped with the necessary transceiver, probe and shovel when entering the backcountry. All backcountry users must check and pay close attention to Avalanche Canada’s avalanche forecasting.

“Given the unpredictability of avalanches, and their devastating potential consequences, we’re urging everyone to stay safe by exercising caution and making informed decisions when planning a trip in the backcountry,” said Bowinn Ma, BC’s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness in the press release.

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Zach Delaney

About the Author: Zach Delaney

I came to the Revelstoke Review from Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University.
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