Barnston Island on evacuation alert due to concern over Fraser River water levels

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      Metro Vancouver wants residents of an unincorporated island in the Fraser River to be ready to leave on short notice.

      Barnston Island was put on evacuation alert at 10 a.m. today as a "precautionary measure".

      The island is in the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows.

      "Metro Vancouver staff are actively monitoring Fraser River levels, patrolling dikes, deploying sandbags, and have established a command post on site to coordinate evacuation activities," the regional district said in a news release. "A state of local emergency has been declared to restrict access to the island and to support a potential evacuation."

      The Barnston Island 3 Indian Reserve is on the southeastern portion.

      Residents have not been asked to leave but they are being advised to prepare for a possible evacuation order this weekend.

      In addition, they've been asked to relocate large pets and lifestock to a safe area immediately because once an evacuation order is issued, people will take priority over pets on the Barnston Island Ferry.

      Barnston Island Regional Park is closed.