IMPORTANT UPDATE 8/12/2017: Shambhala will be closing early due to the fires. Saturdays programming is still happening but, they are asking patrons to prepare for an early departure Sunday morning. The Following is a statement from the festival organizers:<
DUE TO THE MCCORMICK CREEK WILDLIFE AND AFTER CONSULTING WITH THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SHAMBHALA MUSIC FESTIVAL LTD. HAS DECIDED TO ISSUE AN EARLY CLOSURE THIS YEAR.
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.
In order to maintain order while vacating, we would ask our guests to:
Begin to pack your vehicle
Designate a driver
Be well rested
Plan your route home
As many people are aware, the forest fires in British Colombia and Alberta are pretty serious. Smoke has enveloped both provinces, and has even made its way stateside In Washington, Idaho, and other states. The air quality has been pretty poor in all surrounding areas.
According to the Shambhala Festival website, there is currently no “immediate threat is posed to Salmo & Area at this time.” They go on to note that “Harrop / Procter, the closest communities to the fire, 83 km [51 miles] away, are currently on pre-evacuation alert.” Thankfully, the very important fact remains:
“Shambhala currently remains unaffected and will proceed as usual.”
As of right now, while festivities are not cancelled, the wildfires are affecting the Shambhala experience in meaningful ways that are important to know for your safety.
Shambhala organizers suggest a laundry list of precautions, and have instituted a number of changes to usual policy in response to the natural disasters. Anyone with respiratory issues should be prepared for less-than-ideal air quality. Shambhala recommends anybody with those issues come prepared with something like a cycling mask if you are susceptible to poor air quality conditions.
Should any fires occur close to or on the Farm, Shambhala is prepared for any eventuality, with “2 fire trucks, a dozen 1000 gallon tanks, 5km of underground irrigation, fast attack fire unit with pump, a solely dedicated fire suppression team, 50 site crew staff trained to operate fire trucks, 11 fully equipped fire boxes, fire extinguishers, bladders and brake.” Response time from the local fire department in Salmo is estimated at approximately 20 minutes.
They ask that you help in preventing fires, and to that end have put into effect a strict burn ban, and as such, only small propane, gas, or briquette cooktops will be permitted, with flames no more than 15 cm in height. That means no candles, fire toys, tiki torches, and propane fire pits. There will not be any campfires of any kind allowed during the event, subject to serious fines and penalties for anyone found in violation of this policy. They also recommend grabbing a free pocket ashtray for yourself from the Shambhala Green River Collective (pictured below), so the ambers don’t spark a fire on the festival grounds.
We will continue to monitor the situation and add any updates as they come available. Be prepared for any eventuality, but most importantly be safe, responsible, and have fun! For more information on the fire situation, you can head to Shambhala’s website here, or use any of these great resources provided by the festival for more information.
- Wildfire updates: bcwildfire.ca
- Road closures: drivebc.ca or tranbc.ca/current-travel-
- Air quality report: https://weather.gc.ca
- Harrop Creek Fire info: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.
- Fire Ban policy: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.
ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/ DisplayBan.asp?ID=501# ForestUseRestrictions
- Fire information line: 1-888-336-7378