One of B.C.’s biggest outdoor music festivals has issued a “pre-evacuation alert” due to nearby wildfires.
The Shambhala festival near Salmo B.C. issued the notice on Wednesday evening due to an existing evacuation alert near the festival grounds.
On its website, the event says the notice was issued “in the interest of public safety,” and that festival goers should be “prepared for changing conditions,” but that the alert does not affect the festival as of yet.
The BC Wildfire Service said Wednesday that it was fighting a new 75 hectare fire in the McCormick Creek area about 20 kilometres southwest of Salmo and south of the Salmo River.
Twenty firefighters are working the blaze, along with air tankers and four helicopters.
The Regional District of the Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert on Wednesday for an area southwest of the festival site.
Shambhala organizers said they are in close communication with local authorities “to stay ahead of the situation.”
Attendees are also asked to make plans with friends to leave early if necessary, and to ensure groups have a well rested designated driver.
Festival goers are being asked to keep an eye on the Shambhala website, or to download the festival app which can send push notification in the event of an emergency.
The Shambhala festival has operated since 1998, and draws more than 10,000 attendees.
The festival is slated to kick off Friday night, and runs until Monday, August 14.