BC Hydro is asking people to stay away from the Puntledge River through to next Friday.

The public safety advisory comes as the utility plans to increase the water release down river four-fold tonight.

The goal is to lower the reservoir level ahead of the weekend’s storms and melting snow to create more storage capacity as well as flood risk management options.

Temporary danger signs have been posted along the river.

The Comox Lake Reservoir is currently at about 133.75 m, or about 1.55 metres from the dam’s overflow spillway crest.

BC Hydro says the current level is generally “where we like to see it for this time of year.”

When it comes to the ocean tides, BC Hydro says “fortunately and once again, the King Tides will not be in place and will be in the lower side of high tide cycle for this time of year.”

BC Hydro will reduce downstream flows during high oceans tides if downstream rivers are flowing high. Much will depend on how the Browns River and Tsolum River may react to the rain during the snowmelt, and when they peak in relation to the high tides.