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McCormick Creek wildfire prompts Shambhala organizers to issue warning to festival goers

Patrons attending the Shambhala Music Festival need to be aware of the evacuation alert near the festival grounds.

The Shambhala Music Festival issued a statement on its website to its guests and public of an evacuation alert near the festival grounds due to the McCormick Creek wildfire 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo.

“In the interest of public safety, we would like to inform our guests and the public, that there is an evacuation alert near the festival grounds,” the statement said.

“We are currently communicating with local government to stay ahead of the situation.”

The Shambhala Music Festival said BC Wildfire Service is currently fighting the fire with considerable force including 20 firefighters, four helicopters, one piece if heavy equipment and four air tankers.

The Regional District of the Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert on Wednesday for an area southwest of the festival site — the area of McCormick Creek/Pend D’Oreille, 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo.

“Although there are only 23 residential properties on Evacuation Alert, the RDCK is aware that the Shambhala Festival could be threatened by further expansion of this fire,” the RDCK release said.

“At this time, the Shambhala Music Festival is not under any Evacuation Alert or Evacuation Order, however the RDCK is working with festival organizers and the RCMP in the event that an evacuation becomes necessary.”

Shambhala ticket holders are also asked to make plans with friends to leave early if necessary, and to ensure the people attending have a well-rested designated driver throughout the festival.

Festival goers are being asked to monitor the Shambhala website, or to download the festival app which can send push notification in the event of an emergency.

The Shambhala festival began in 1998 when some 500 people gathered at the Salmo River Ranch for a party that showcased local art and music.

The festival, which now attracts more than 10,000 electronic music enthusiasts, runs from August 11-14.