Organizers of an electronic music festival that draws thousands of people in B.C. have issued a "pre-evacuation alert" due to a wildfire burning near event grounds, asking guests to plan for an early exit should conditions worsen.
The Shambhala Music Festival takes place at the Salmo River Ranch in the Kootenay Region from Thursday to Sunday. The McCormick Creek wildfire is about 20 kilometres southwest of the festival.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay issued an evacuation alert due to the 75-hectare fire on Wednesday. Shambhala organizers published its own notice the same evening.
"While this [alert] does not currently affect the festival, all guests should be prepared for changing conditions," read a statement.
Under an evacuation alert, residents should be prepared to leave an area at a moment's notice. The RDCK said Shambhala could be included in an expanded alert or an order if the fire continues to grow.
Festival officials said guests should have a game plan for a quick exit in place and plan to have a "well-rested" designated driver for the weekend.
The B.C. Wildfire Service said there are 20 firefighters and eight aircraft fighting the McCormick Creek fire.
Shambhala typically draws thousands of festival goers every year. Around 10,000 people attended the event in 2010.