Fire burns near fest, again

For the second year in a row, a growing wildfire is burning near the Shambhala Music Festival.

On Thursday, the BC Wildfire Service upgraded the McArthur Creek wildfire to a “fire of note,” meaning it poses a threat to public safety or it's especially visible.

The fire, which was sparked on July 29 by lightning, has grown to about 35 hectares, and is burning about 10 kilometres east of the music festival.

The festival, located just south of Salmo, begins Thursday, but attendees have been showing up since Tuesday.

Last year, the McCormick Creek wildfire was burning 10 kilometres south of the Shambhala, on the Thursday of the festival.

On Saturday a year ago, the festival announced they would be cutting the fun short, cancelling the Sunday festivities, but favourable weather allowed them to restart the party Sunday.

This year, the BC Wildfire Service says there's “favourable wind direction in the forecast,” and they don't anticipate needing to put the festival grounds under an evacuation alert like last year.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has, however, issued an evacuation alert for three homes in the McArthur Creek area due to the blaze.

Two other fires in the Southeast Fire Centre have also been upgraded to fires of note. The 80-hectare Blazed Creek fire is burning 26 kilometres northwest of Creston and is highly visible from Highway 3.

Father north, the 36-hectare Cross River wildfire is burning 23 kilometres northeast of the Village of Radium. An evacuation alert has been put in place for nine properties in the Cross River/Nipika Mountain Resort areas.

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