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Special Public Avalanche Warning issued for Western Canada; PG included

Prince George and the Northern Rockies region is included in a Special Public Avalanche Warning that spans across much of Western Canada.

According to Avalanche Canada, the message is directed towards recreational backcountry users as temperatures are expected to rise and destabilize the existing snowpack, resulting in dangerous avalanches.

The warning will apply through the end of May 1st.

Avalanches under these conditions are likely to be very large and may even run to the valley bottoms.

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So far this year, 14 people have lost their lives in the province due to avalanche activity.

The Northern Rockies region has not been exempt from avalanche fatalities during the season.

In February, two skiers were caught on an east-facing slope on Potato Peak, approximately three hours west of Williams Lake, and later passed away.

Avalanche Canada noted the skiers had accessed the area using snowmobiles but were skiing at the time of the accident.

The avalanche ran on a layer of facets approximately 30-40 centimeters up from the base of the snowpack.

In January, a Grande Prairie man died following an avalanche south of Valemount.

The incident, which was three hours southeast of Prince George was first reported by Avalanche Canada in the Oasis riding area, on a north-northeast aspect at 2100 metres.

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