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Fire in Pend D'Oreille area prompts evacuation alert

A screenshot of the wildfire map provided by BC Wildfire Services showing active fires in the province.

Ed note: BC Wildfire Services says there are 126 wildfires larger than 0.01 hectares in British Columbia as of midnight Wednesday .

The Southeast Fire Centre has issued a release saying a 75-hectare wildfire that's burning about 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo and south of the Salmo River has prompted the Regional District of Central Kootenay to issue an evacuation alert for the McCormick Creek area.

"This fire started near McCormick Creek, east of Pend D'Oreille River, on the evening of Aug. 8, 2017. It is burning in steep terrain close to power lines and is exhibiting aggressive fire behaviour. Due to potential safety risks, ground crews were relocated to safer ground, but they continue to work on this fire," the release reads.

"Twenty BC Wildfire Service personnel were fighting this fire with the aid of four helicopters, airtankers and heavy equipment.

"As a precautionary measure, the Regional District of Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert on Aug. 9, 2017. For more information about this alert, people should call 250 352-7701 or visit the district's website at www.rdck.ca."

In a press release issued Wednesday, the RDCK saidt that, although there are only 23 residential properties on alert, the RDCK is aware that the Shambhala Festival could be threatened by further expansion of this fire.  At this time, the Shambhala Music Festival is not under any Evacuation Alert or Evacuation Order.

"Shambhala Music Festival could be placed under an Evacuation Alert or Evacuation Order should the fire situation worsen," the release said. "The RDCK Emergency Operations Centre is currently working with RCMP, BCEHS, MOTI and Shambhala organizers to ensure public safety is maintained in the event of an emergency.  Festival goers are encouraged to maintain a designated driver and means of quick evacuation from the area."

Both the RDCK and BC Wildfire Services have promised updates on the situation Thursday morning.