The Butchart Gardens says it will not be hosting its evening fireworks display on Saturday. Aug. 19, due to wildfire conditions in the province.
The gardens usually host a fireworks display every Saturday in July and August.
However, with the province entering a state of emergency on Friday, and with thousands of people still evacuating the Kelowna area due to a wildfire burning through homes, Butchart Gardens has cancelled its Saturday show.
It’s the first time the gardens needed to cancel the fireworks this year.
“The gardens will remain open until 11 p.m. with entertainment at 8 p.m.,” said the attraction in a notice Saturday morning.
The Butchart Gardens says it’s unclear if future firework displays will take place this summer. Staff say they work with the local fire department to determine if it is safe to put on the display each weekend.
B.C. Premier David Eby said this year is shaping up to be “the worst wildfire season ever in British Columbia” when declaring a provincewide state of emergency Friday evening.
Issuing a B.C.-wide state of emergency temporarily gives the province extended powers, including restricting travel to specific areas if needed.
“At this time, we’re grateful that people are mostly following our call to not travel to certain areas and to stay out of the way of emergency crews so they can do their jobs,” said Eby.
“We are also seeing more and more people evacuated – and access to accommodation is becoming increasingly tight in the Interior.” he said. “We need to ensure that accommodation is available for people who are evacuated.”