The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) says Silver Star Mountain still has a remaining snowpack of about 900 mm, and amid unseasonably high temperatures, creeks could soon become hazardous as snowmelt makes its way to the bottom of the valley.
The RDNO has an active Level 1 Emergency Operations Centre to support residents throughout the spring freshet. With the high temperatures this weekend, snowmelt is expected to accelerate into this week.
When the snowpack melts, much of this water runs down through BX Creek. The RDNO is advising the public to avoid BX Creek for the next week, if not longer, due to the risk of swift moving water and rapid rises in stream levels.
The RDNO has closed a portion of the BX Creek Trail near the BX Dog Park. As there is no fencing between the park and the trail, dog owners are advised to be cautious and not let their dogs in the creek.
People living in areas that are prone to flooding are encouraged to stay vigilant and prepare their household emergency plan.
People are also advised to stay away from the edges of creeks, rivers and streams, as during periods of high flow river banks may be unstable and more prone to sudden collapse.
While hot temperatures are likely to draw people to cool off in lakes, the RDNO reminds people that bodies of water are still very cold this time of year and there is a risk of hypothermia and cold-water shock.
Hot temperatures also increase the risk of wildfire, and anyone with an open flame or campfire is advised to exercise caution. Never leave a fire unattended, ensure you have the mandatory eight litres of water or a hand tool nearby, and always fully extinguish campfires before leaving the area.
The RDNO has set up seven self-serve sandbag stations throughout the North Okanagan. Here are the locations:
• Cherryville Community Hall, 158 North Fork Rd., Cherryville
• Beside the BX-Swan Lake Fire Hall in the parking lot at the BX Community Park, 5764 Silver Star Rd.
• City of Enderby Public Works Department, 2308 McGowan St. Enderby
• Parking lot across the street from the Lumby Curling Club, Near 2270 Shields Ave., Lumby
• City of Vernon Public Works Yard, 1900-48 Ave, Vernon. Access at the back gate on Pleasant Valley Rd.
• Mara Lake Community Hall, 11 Coell Jones Rd., Mara
• At the entrance of the Crystal Sands Estates, 8192 Highway 97A, Mara