Wildfire forces early cancellation of Shambhala Festival

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Image via Jonathon Brown.

A popular electronic music festival in southern British Columbia is ending early as wildfires burn nearby.

Organizers for the Shambhala Music Festival say there is no threat to the festival or attendees, but they decided to end early after consulting with local government.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert Saturday morning after the BC Wildfire Service reported that flames had crossed the Salmo River and were heading toward Salmo, where the festival is being held.

An evacuation alert means people need to be ready to leave an area on a moment’s notice.

Shambhala, which has drawn more than 10,000 festival-goers in years past, began Friday and was scheduled to end.

Organizers say programming will continue Saturday night and attendees will begin leaving Sunday morning.

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

The BC Wildfire Service 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.