The search for a 60-year-old woman who disappeared into the raging Willow River about 30 kilometres east of Prince George has been called off for safety reasons.

The woman was walking with her dogs and a companion at around 12:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday when she slipped near the bank at observation point where the river runs beneath Highway 16. She fell about five metres, and was swept away by the fast-moving water.

53.885087,-122.284325Willow River at Highway 16

Prince George RCMP Sgt. Al Steinhauser said police conducted an air search and ground crews were also searching along the river banks.

"It's a long river. The river is estimated to moving at approximately ten kilometres an hour. We're trying to narrow our search grid down to acceptable parameters so we don't wear out our searchers," he said Tuesday.

Prince George Search and Rescue manager Jeff Smedley said Wednesday that the river is flowing too fast for a safe search, and the search has been called off. Smedley says everyone should be careful around the river right now.

"If you're going to be playing out on the Willow River, you'd better know what you're doing because that river is moving very, very fast," he said.

"I wouldn't want to deter people from being out in the wilderness. I would encourage people to be careful."

Nearly a year ago, two women drowned in the Willow River after the jetboat they were in hit a logjam and capsized.

With files from the CBC's Marissa Harvey