Avalanche and open burning warnings issued

Warmer weather is leading to cautions from two different organizations.

Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning for backcountry users.

Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning for backcountry users.

Warmer weather on the way this week has two organizations issuing separate warnings.

Avalanche Canada is telling recreational backcountry users to be ready for increased avalanche hazard due to what could be record high temperatures this week.

This warning applies to all Avalanche Canada forecast regions, from the Yukon to the US border and from the Pacific to the Rockies. The warning is in effect through Saturday.

“We’re expecting this weather to have a big impact on the snowpack,” said warning service manager Karl Klassen. “Given that many slopes have yet to see a full-blown warm up we are predicting a widespread and varied array of avalanche problems this week including cornice failures, surface-layer avalanches, and failure on deeper persistent weak layers. While this is not atypical weather for this time of year, clear-sky days often lead to underestimating hazard and failing to manage risk appropriately.”

Meanwhile, the Southeast Fire Centre is asking you to use caution while conducting any outdoor burning.

As the snow melts, dried grass from last summer is uncovered which can be highly flammable. Almost all wildfires at this time of year are caused by people and therefore are preventable, the centre said in a news release.

If you want to light an open fire you must watch for changing weather and follow all burning regulations, including creating a fireguard of at least one meter around the planned fire site.