The Owen, Sound, Ont., native finished the downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo in a time of one minute, 9.68 seconds.
Local favourite Elena Fanchini won the race, crossing in 1:09.53, with Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany third.
Yurkiw, 26, surpassed her previous best of fourth place, accomplished in December at Lake Louise, Alta.
She came off her remarkable 2013-14 season needing knee surgery in the summer.
Yurkiw, due to previous injury woes, didn't receive funding in the season leading into the Sochi Olympics.
She raised tens of thousands of dollars indepedently, and qualified for the Games with a pair of top 10 finishes. She finished 20th in Sochi, happy to compete at the Olympics after suffering a devastating injury one month before the Vancouver Games.
Fanchini's second career downhill win on Friday comes over eight years after her first, which was at Lake Louise. It was her fourth career World Cup podium, all in the downhill.
Rebensburg, who won medals at both the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics in the giant slalom, now has two podium finishes in the downhill this season. For her career, Friday's result was her 22nd World Cup podium.
Lindsey Vonn, who leads the World Cup downhill season standings with 258 points, was 10th on Friday.
World Cup overall leader Tina Maze of Slovenia was 13th.