We caught up with Mayor of Pemberton, Mike Richman, who spoke with us about constant safety evaluations

as wildfires burn north of the village.


Pemberton Music Festival countdown is on, and while wildfires continue to burn, Pemberton Music festival sent this message to fans: “Your safety is our #1 concern, and we are keeping a close watch for any developments that might effect the festival, our neighbours, or our fans.”

We turned to the Mayor of Pemberton to see what some of those safety precautions look like. Here’s what he told us:

Mayor Richman says daily updates are conducted by municipal and regional agencies like Vancouver Coastal Health, Emergency Management BC, the Wildfire Management Branch and Red Cross. HUKA Entertainment, who is organizing the festival, is also involved in daily updates and evaluations.

Mayor Mike Richman

“There’s an intensive, detailed, evacuation plan for the festival, regardless if there’s any fire activity in the province or in the region. That’s something that’s just part of the planning process anyway…that’s looked at very thoroughly and vetted through emergency response teams locally.” 

“We developed thresholds or trigger points that may lead to a possible cancellation… trigger points and thresholds were established with the aid of agencies like Wildfire Management, Vancouver Coastal Health (etc)…. these are reviewed every single day. We have not reached even close to any of those trigger points.  Again, the fires aren’t moving this way, the air advisory has been lifted, the smoke has cleared. None of those thresholds or trigger points are even close. But once again, we evaluate everyday.” 

Mayor Richman would also like to remind visitors that the area is still very dry, and so no open burning is allowed, including campfires. He would also like people to be mindful of where and how they put out their cigarettes. HUKA Entertainment will be patrolling for spot fires and is regularly sprinkling the festival ground to keep it moist.  Ashtrays will be provided.