The Provincial Government of British Columbia declared a State of Emergency due to what experts have deemed is the province’s most severe wildfire season.
Overnight, the number of people placed under evacuation orders and evacuation alerts saw a significant increase. Previously, approximately 15,000 people in the province were under evacuation order and another 20,000 were under evacuation alert. As of this last weekend about 30,000 people are under evacuation orders and another 36,000 people are under evacuation alert.
“A provincial state of emergency allows the Province to enact emergency orders. Emergency orders could include travel restrictions to specific areas if people do not respect our calls to avoid non-essential travel to the central Interior and southeastern B.C.”
During a press conference on August 19th the provincial government announced travel restrictions to the Southern Interior.
“Essentially, this order will restrict travel in fire affected areas when you are travelling for the purposes of staying in temporary accommodation, like a hotel, motel, provincial park or public campground. This order says stay off the roads,” Premier David Eby said.
The fire affected areas include the communities of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Kamloops, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton and Vernon.
Fires are currently raging in many parts of British Columbia and it’s affecting the dance music scene. Earlier this month, a fire caused by human activity led to the evacuation of approximately 1000 attendees at a festival called “Under the Stars” in Princeton.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time festival attendees have had to prepare to evacuate. In 2017, Shambhala Music Festival temporarily cancelled all Sunday acts out of caution due to the nearby McCormick wildfire near the Salmo River.
Another B.C. festival called “ThumpTown X Altitude Music Festival” has announced the postponement of the event. The Tuckkwiowhum Campgrounds would have hosted the event starting August 25th. The campgrounds will now become a base of operations for emergency personnel fighting the wildfire.
Another event called Deep Roots Festival that describes itself as “showcasing the heavy mellow side of bass music” has announced their decision to postpone their event until Spring 2024. They had scheduled the event to take place in Kamloops from September 1st to the 3rd. All tickets purchased for the September event will remain valid for the new date.
Wildfires in 2023 have burned a staggering 1.61 million hectares of land, surpassing the previous record set in 2018. Moreover, there are approximately 384 active fires, with 15 of them classified as “Fires of Note”. Notably, lightning has ignited 322 of these fires, while human activity has been attributed to 24. The cause behind the remaining 38 fires remains unknown.
To keep track of constantly updating conditions, as is common in these situations, keep an eye on the BC Wildfire Service map. Alternatively, Emergency Map BC is available. To report a wildfire that may not have been reported yet, dial *5555 or 1-800-663-5555.
Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!