Shambhala Music Festival under evacuation alert due to moving wildfire

This story originally published here.

SALMO, B.C. — Organizers of a popular electronic music festival in southern British Columbia are telling attendees to stay calm after a wildfire jumped a nearby river, prompting an evacuation alert.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay issued the alert Saturday morning after the BC Wildfire Service reported the McCormick Creek wildfire had jumped the Salmo River and was heading toward the Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo, B.C.

The regional district said festival-goers should make sure they leave enough time to return home safely.

Festival organizers said in an online update that attendees should make plans in case of a mandatory evacuation, including talking to friends about potentially leaving early and making sure they have a well-rested designated driver.

The update says a footbridge has also been installed over the Salmo River to provide another way for people to leave if conditions change.

Shambhala, which has drawn more than 10,000 festival-goers in years past, began Friday.

The BC Wildfire said Saturday morning that the McCormick Creek fire was 2.5 square kilometres in size, and 27 firefighters, four helicopters and six pieces of heavy equipment were being used to fight the flames.

This story originally published here.