In 2021 MKSP was cancelled, not because of Covid-19, even though there were concerns, but because of Forest Fire Risks which were extreme during the summer of 2021. Not only might there be issues with accessing the site, even though there were no active forest fires in the immediate area, there were significant road closures between the Mountain and other major urban areas. Out of an abundance of caution the event was cancelled.
The following is a Synopsis of what was posted on the 2021 website.
When the star party organizers met in June, choosing to proceed towards MKSP 2021 in August, we based our “go” decision on the state of the COVID threat. In response we had an excellent vote of confidence through pre-registration applicants (currently at 75% of our self-imposed attendee cap).
Now a greater risk is presented by wildfire. Could it be that we weathered a global pandemic only to be shut down by the worst fire season on record?
Sadly, yes. The fire danger rating throughout the southern interior of BC is high to extreme. There have been many small fires in the area, including three that would have been serious threats to Kobau if they hadn’t been controlled at the small stage. There is currently a major fire burning out of control just across the Okanagan Valley to the east in plain view from Mt. Kobau. Another large fire smoulders to the north of that, also visible from the star party site. Two more major wildfires burn in Washington State less than 100 km to the SW.
If there’s any silver lining in this daunting scenario, it’s that no major fires are currently burning to the immediate west and northwest of Kobau – the directions most likely to push smoke over us. But this is barely reassuring, as fire smoke easily drifts in from a distance of hundreds – even thousands – of kilometres and the winds can change conditions dramatically in a matter of a few hours.
Under conditions of such obvious risk, and out of respect for the price that could be paid in terms of property and lives, the organizers have voted to cancel MKSP 2021 while registrants still have time to make other plans. If you have applied for pre-registration and sent payment, our Treasurer will be in touch soon regarding refunds.