British Columbia

Hot weather and snow melt causes Fraser River to swell

The River Forecast Centre has issued a high streamflow advisory from the Fraser Canyon to the ocean which means there could be minor flooding in low-lying areas.

Residents using river for recreation advised to be careful due to fast flowing water and increase in debris

An aerial view of the Fraser River on June 28, 2012 when levels rose to the point where farms began flooding in Chilliwack, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The Fraser River has been rising in response to melting snow and warm temperatures and that's prompted the River Forecast Centre to issue a high streamflow advisory.

The advisory affects the river from the Fraser Canyon to the ocean and means water levels are rising or are expected to rise quickly.

"We saw a big jump in the river levels with snowmelt last week and then we're expecting another jump from the melt earlier this week," said Dave Campbell, head of the River Forecast Centre.

Campbell said river flows through Hope are expected to reach up to 10,000 cubic metres per second this weekend.

When the Fraser River flooded in 2007 and in 2012, the river flow was in the 11,000 to 12,000 thousand range.

The advisory means that there could be minor flooding in low-lying areas not protected by a dyke.

The City of Maple Ridge has already begun regular dyke inspections.

"The Fraser River has not been at this level for a few years," said Patrick Cullen, emergency program coordinator for the City of Maple Ridge.

Cullen said those who plan to spend the weekend on the water should exercise caution.

"A lot of debris that gathered on the shoreline has been picked up and is sweeping down toward the ocean. The combination of the high flow rate and debris poses a risk for citizens who use the river for recreation," said Cullen.