Shambhala dodges evacuation alert

Festival director Jimmy Bundschuh expresses confidence in evacuation plan

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 (RDCK) to issue an evacuation alert for the McCormick Creek area.

This fire started near McCormick Creek, east of Pend D’Oreille River, on Tuesday evening. 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, near the Nelway border crossing. Smoke may also be visible from Highway 6 leading to Nelway.

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

Meanwhile, the Village of Salmo has established a satellite Level 1 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) as a precautionary measure to monitor, collaborate and communicate with emergency management stakeholders related to the fire.

As a precautionary measure, the RDCK issued an evacuation alert on Wednesday. For more information about this alert, people should call 250 352-7701 or visit the district’s website at www.rdck.ca.

“At this time visibility is limited which is preventing any detailed assessment of the fire, but BC Wildfire has confirmed that it still remains on the south side of the Salmo River,” reads the RDCK press release.

“Although there are only 23 residential properties on evacuation alert, the RDCK is aware that the Shambhala festival could be threatened by a further expansion of this fire … The RDCK is working with festival organizers and the RCMP in the event that an evacuation becomes necessary.”

Shambhala Music Festival director Jimmy Bundschuh feels confident his staff could quickly and efficiently evacuate their property if it becomes necessary — the way he sees it, they’ve practiced a one-day mass exit 19 times before.

“It’s no different than a regular exit, which we do every year. We’re extremely good at it and extremely prepared,” Bundschuh told the Nelson Star on Thursday morning.

The 20th annual festival, which hosts upwards of 15,000 people on the Salmo River Ranch every year, was already well underway when government officials, wildfire professionals and Shambhala staff gathered for a meeting on Thursday morning. And though a wildfire was burning approximately ten kilometres away, Bundschuh was feeling optimistic.

“I’d say we’re better off than a regular community because we have so many resources here. We have 2,500 workers on site, we have firefighters — we’re really prepared.”

With files from Nelson Star

Just Posted

Starbucks baristas in Trail donate $7,000 in tips

Funds will go toward the breakfast program in five Kootenay Columbia elementary schools

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Feeling the heat

What you see: If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

Air time at Trail Sk8 Park

The Trail Sk8Park is located near the Gyro Park boat launch

B.C. MP’s climate-change alarmism challenged

Letter to the Editor from Thorpe Watson, PhD, Warfield

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read