A wildfire burning near the Shambhala Music Festival is not expected to shut down the annual event.
The 35-hectare MacArthur Creek fire is approximately 10 kilometres east of Salmo River Ranch, where the music festival is set to run Friday through Monday, and 13 km southeast of Salmo.
Six residences have been put on evacuation alert, and the Billings and Waldie forest service roads at Sheep Creek have been closed to traffic.
Carlee Kachman, a fire information officer with the Southeast Fire Centre, said Thursday the fire is unlikely to spread.
“It is being closely monitored,” she said. “The fire is burning in remote terrain. It is surrounded by favourable geographic features that could act as shield breaks.”
Last year, a wildfire burning about 15 kilometres from the music festival temporarily shut it down. Shambhala organizers opted to re-open the festival despite a recommendation from the Regional District of Central Kootenay that it close a day early.
Meanwhile, Highway 3 between Salmo and Creston remains open despite the 80-hectare Blazed Creek fire that’s just two kilometres north of the highway.
Kachman said 21 personnel, three helicopters and four pieces of heavy equipment are on site, and that the fire is not currently impacting public safety despite it being visible from the highway.
The MacArthur and Blazed Creek fires are both suspected to have been caused by lightning.
Two fires are also being held in the Slocan Valley.
The six-hectare Airy Creek fire and 135-hectare Drinnon Lake fire are not expected to grow or threaten residences.