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Avalanche bulletin issued for Banff, Yoho, Kootenay due to major winter storm logo 2019-01-03 Sarah Rieger

a sign on the side of a snow covered mountain: Mark Matulis/CBC © Mark Matulis/CBC Mark Matulis/CBC Parks Canada issued an avalanche bulletin for three national parks Wednesday evening, as a major winter storm began to roll in.

The agency said the avalanche risk was high for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay, with extreme risk forecast for Friday in the alpine region.

Forecasts were calling for up to 50 centimetres of snow on the slopes by Thursday evening with more expected Friday, the agency said, with a potential for full-depth avalanches due to deeply buried weak layers.

Three avalanches were reported by skiers in the area on Wednesday, according to Avalanche Canada.

Travel advisories also issued

The warnings come alongside travel advisories issued for the Alberta-B.C. border.

Drive BC advised drivers to avoid Highway 93 between Radium Hot Springs and the border due to heavy snowfall and blowing snow, and Highway 1 near Golden was closed due to multiple crashes.

Drivers were also advised to avoid Highway 1 on Thursday, with multiple avalanche control events planned throughout the day that would have closures ranging between one and four hours.

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