Shambhala Music Festival has cancelled their Sunday night lineup, due to ongoing concerns around the McCormick Creek wildfire burning in the Kootenays.
The fire broke out earlier this week, and is now burning at an estimated 350 hectares in size about 9 kilometres away from the festival grounds.
Event organizer Jimmy Bundschuch said that “due to the population of the festival grounds, we feel that we need to advance the timeline of getting people off the property.”
Saturday night performances will go on as planned.
More than 17,000 festival goers have been at the music festival since Friday.
News: out of an abundance of caution @shambhala_mf has cancelled Sunday nights entertainment— Will Johnson (@KootenayGoon) August 12, 2017
Andrew Bellerby, the Regional Fire Chief and the head of the region’s Emergency Operations Centre, said the voluntary early closure came after strong advice from his agency, the RCMP, the ambulance service and other agencies.
“They (the festival organizers) have taken our advice,” he said, “that there were risks that people could be injured or there could be fatalities. So they have done the right thing in our opinion, and they are shutting the festival early to give more time for people to disperse.”
He emphasized that this is not an evacuation order.
“That would have caused pandemonium. It is not at that stage yet, so basically the festival will be closed one day early. Tonight will be the last night of music.”