Avalanche Canada, in partnership with Parks Canada, Kananaskis Country, and the Province of British Columbia have issued a Special Public Avalanche Warning for recreational backcountry users.

The warning is in effect immediately and encompasses most of B.C.'s and Alberta's forecast regions and will remain in effect until the end of day Monday, March 4th.

A significant amount of snow has fallen across Western Canada due to recent storms, and it now sits on weak layers that were established in early February.

Even though the natural avalanche activity has diminished now that the storms have subsided, human-triggered avalanches remain likely.

"We’ve been tracking these weak layers closely over this past month," explained Avalanche Canada Forecaster Tyson Rettie in a media release on February 29th. "While their structure has different forms across different regions, the result is the same - highly problematic layers that remain reactive to human triggering."

Rettie added that this most recent storm has been the biggest of the season, and even though backcountry users are eager to get out, he reminds people to not underestimate the instability of the weaker layer's underneath.

"Any avalanche triggered on them could be deadly."

It is suggested for people who are heading out to the backcountry to make cautious terrain choices over the next several days.

B.C.'s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma advises people to follow the advice of Avalanche Canada.

"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," Ma says.

It's advised for backcountry users to check the avalanche forecast at www.avalanche.ca, and it's highly encouraged that everyone going into the backcountry carry and know how to use the essential rescue gear of transceiver, probe, and shovel.

Click here for a map of the SPAW region.

Yesterday, the portion of Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke was closed due to unsafe avalanche conditions.