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More races postponed at Penticton Speedway amid raging wildfires

Travel restrictions and limited resources force track to make additional changes to schedule
The Crater Creek wildfire south of Keremeos has been burning for one month now. It is 44,000 hectares, as of Tuesday, Aug. 22. (BC Wildfire Services)

As wildfires continue to burn across the Okanagan, more races have been postponed at the Penticton Speedway.

The track says its Iron Driver event, set for Saturday, Aug. 26, will be rescheduled.

“The current forest fire crisis has prompted travel restrictions and limited resources in the affected region,” the speedway wrote in a statement. “In line with the provincial state of emergency, which urges non-residents to return home, Penticton Speedway acknowledges the need for unity and community support during this challenging time.”

The postponement marks the second time in as many weeks the track has made changes to its schedule amid the slew of ongoing regional wildfires.

With the Iron Driver serving as a championship race, the track says it wants to make sure there’s an opportunity for all drivers to participate.

Representatives from the speedway intend on announcing a new date for the event within the next 20 days.

“We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our valued participants, fans, and stakeholders. Penticton Speedway remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety and community care.”

READ ALSO: Races rescheduled at Penticton Speedway amid wildfires

Premier David Eby declared a provincial state of emergency Friday, Aug. 18, after several fast-moving fires spread across B.C., including in the Okanagan where thousands of properties were placed under evacuation orders.

The province also issued an order banning non-essential travel to fire-affected communities, including Kelowna, Kamloops, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton and Vernon.

This will remain in effect until Sept. 4, the province said.

READ ALSO: Non-essential travel to 6 Okanagan-area cities restricted

The speedway says the Iron Driver’s new date will be subject to the ongoing situation across the region.

In the South Okanagan and Similkameen, between the Crater Creek and Upper Park Rill Creek wildfires, there are currently 270 properties on evacuation order.

READ ALSO: Evacuation orders remain as Crater Creek wildfire near Keremeos grows