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Snow Cannons Used to Battle Wildfires in California Ski Resorts

The cannons were turned on at Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort and with the help of fire fighting teams the resort has been saved. Kirkwood is under threat, Heavenly has been evacuated and Squaw Valley has been partially closed due to smoke. UPDATED

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Some structures were destroyed at Sierra-at-Tahoe, but the main buildings at the base of the resort remain intact.

The chairlifts appeared to be unscathed, but a maintenance building on the upper mountain burnt down.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes due to the Caldor Fire which has been burning since August 14th.

It is currently 14% contained and has covered 165,00 acres.

It has so far destroyed 650 structures.

The ski resort of Sierra-at-Tahoe is in the Eldorado National Forest.

“We have so much gratitude for the firefighters and emergency crews working around the clock to get this thing under control,” said a social media post from Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.

“Be prepared and stay safe out there!”

The fires are now getting closer to the ski resort of Kirkwood on Highway 88 to the south of Lake Tahoe.

Fire crews have been using the ski lifts to monitor and fight the blaze.

Half of the fire crew that fought the fire at Sierra-at-Tahoe have now been deployed to Kirkwood which is the next ski area under threat.

The Caldor Fire is one of 13 current wildfires in the state of California.

This summer 6,913 fires have burned through 1.76 million acres of land in California alone.

Other states in the west are experiencing fires driven by high-temperatures and historic drought linked to the climate crisis.

The governors of California and Nevada have declared a state of emergency for their respective state.

The ski resort of Heavenly has also been affected and people have now been ordered to leave the area.

“As of Aug. 30, Heavenly Mountain Resort is under a Mandatory Evacuation from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,” said the resort in a statement.

“We remain in constant communication and are offering our support to the local Fire Department, Cal Fire and United States Forest Service and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to those on the front lines fighting these fires to keep us safe during this difficult time.”


Some of the area around the ski resort of Squaw Valley has also been closed.

Summer operations at the resort of Northstar have also been affected.

The flames are some way away, but widespread smoke in the area has disrupted activities with lifts closed and summer activities on hold.

43,000 Californians are currently under evacuation orders and more than 500 households are in shelters due to the fires that are raging in parts of the north of the state.

More than 13,500 firefighters are working to try to contain the blazes.

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed.

Check out this time-lapse video filmed near Sierre-at-Tahoe from the US Forest Service:

Some of the web cameras in the ski area remain operating and show the impact of the blaze:   Sierra-at-Tahoe web cameras

 

UPDATE:

Here at PlanetSKI we are following the progress of the fire and the battle to contain it, and will updating with all the latest news.

Do check back…

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