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

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to editor@trailtimes.ca

Storm the Stairs and Trail Kidney Walk this weekend

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Sept. 20 to Sept. 26

Kootenay Robusters end 18th paddling season

Women of Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Christina Lake and Grand Forks came together in 2001

Military exercises may be audible in Trail

The exercises will be conducted in the Trail area from Thursday to Sunday

Council rollover inspires crop of hopeful politicians

Fourteen people vying for six council seats

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read