Festival cuts party short

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.

Organizers of the Shambhala Music Festival are shutting down the party early.

According to the groups Facebook page, the festival will finish tonight.

"While there is no immediate threat to the festival or its attendees, we believe it to be in everyone’s best interest to allow adequate time to vacate the area safely.

"Programming for Saturday evening will continue as planned, however, we encourage guests to make necessary preparations for an efficient exit of the site by getting a head start on packing up their campsite and belongings. Necessary camping equipment may remain in place and can be moved during the exit procedures," said a post on the website.

Shambhala Music Festival is now under an official evacuation alert, as the McCormick Creek wildfire continues to grow rapidly while "behaving unpredictably."

The wildfire has grown to 250 hectares in size, from 160 Friday night, and has jumped north over the Salmo River towards the festival. It's also travelled east, prompting the evacuation of the Nelway area. 

A full list of the the roads under the evacuation order can be found here

The blaze has also forced the closure of the Nelway border crossing, closing Highway 6 between the U.S. border and the junction with Highway 3.

There are currently 37 firefighters, along with four helicopters fighting the 250-hectare wildfire. 

"Due to the fire increasing in size and threatening properties in the area, Shambhala Music Festival goers should ensure they leave adequate time to return home safely," the Regional District of Central Kootenay posted Saturday morning. 

The McCormick Creek wildfire began Wednesday, about 20 kilometres south of Salmo, prompting the festival to issue a "pre-evacuation alert" to attendees on Thursday. 


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