Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Fight Fire With Snow-Making Equipment
(Bloomberg) -- Lake Tahoe ski resorts are turning their snow-making equipment into firefighting tools as the popular alpine tourist destinations try to ward off a raging wildfire in the California resort area.
Kirkwood and Heavenly resorts said they are using snow cannons to spray water on bone-dry slopes and critical buildings as gusty winds pushed the Caldor Fire near the ski lodges. The facilities also have snow-making hydrants ready with hoses spread out over the mountains for firefighters to use, according to Doug Pierini, senior vice president for the western region of Vail Resorts Inc., which operates the properties.
Spot fires had been seen at the Kirkwood Resort, he said. California officials said late Tuesday that the fast-moving wildfire was also advancing toward Heavenly.
The Caldor blaze grew to more than 200,000 acres overnight and continued to threaten the city of South Lake Tahoe, which sits on the southern tip of the alpine lake that straddles California and Nevada. Fire officials said they were trying to steer the blaze around the city.
Good news is expected to come Thursday and Friday, as winds along the ridgelines are expected to slacken, National Weather Service forecaster Jim Dudley said at a community meeting Wednesday. That should allow firefighters to make progress against the blaze.
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