The Cowichan Valley got a brief taste of winter this morning as snow fell across the region.

The Malahat Highway remained bare and wet, but the flurries gave the surrounding hills a dusting of snow.

Emcom Services, which is now the highway maintenance contractor on Southern Vancouver Island, sent out a warning on its Facebook page to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and be prepared for winter driving conditions.

Duncan and North Cowichan are reminding residents that clearing snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of homes or businesses is mandatory.

In Facebook posts, both municipalities say work crews will plow and clear the streets, owners or occupants of properties are responsible for clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks.

Residents and businesses may be fined for failing to shovel their sidewalks.