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B.C. centre warns of increased avalanche danger

A special avalanche warning has been issued by the Canadian Avalanche Centre as southern B.C. gets its first real snow storm in almost eight weeks.

The warning covers the southern Selkirk and Monashee Mountains, the Kootenay-Boundary area and the southern Chilcotin Mountains.

Greg Johnson, from the avalanche centre, says there's danger the latest snow will overload weak layers in the upper snowpack.

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Johnson says they've been tracking the weak layers that formed in late January and under normal conditions the layers would have been long gone by now, but little snow has fallen since then.

He says there have been a lot of close calls recently and while the new snow will be tempting to backcountry users, the avalanche conditions in those areas will be very dangerous.

Avalanche fatalities are below normal this season because of lack of snow, but last season there were two dozen deaths in the B.C. backcountry.

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