Sierra-at-Tahoe Fire Assessment Finds Chair Lift Damage

On the night of August 29, the Caldor Fire picked up steam in the Sierra Nevada and moved into beloved ski park Sierra-at-Tahoe. Fans of the mountain watched on a working webcam as the fire moved through the ski lifts and across the runs we hold dear. As the flames have quieted and fire containment has grown near South Lake Tahoe, many have been left to wonder the true damage done to the ski resort.

While’s it’s still early in the assessment process, inspection of the lifts at the ski resort revealed varying damage to Nob Hill and Short Stuff. On top of that, there’s a lot of damage done to the trees inside the resort’s boundaries. While Sierra-at-Tahoe officials have maintained their commitment to open as soon as possible, ongoing inspections put that into question.

With the repopulation of South Lake Tahoe and opening of Highway 50 over the Sierra, fire officials will be able to turn their attention to assessing the damage of the Caldor Fire. That means we’ll soon know the immediate fate of Sierra-at-Tahoe. With winter right around the corner, let’s hope the damage is minimal.

Here is the full statement from Sierra-at-Tahoe:

Our goal is to continue to share what we know — and what we’re still learning — with you as we continue to gather more information.

Unfortunately, the Caldor Fire is very much still active within the resort and surrounding areas, and fire crews and personnel are continuing fire suppression efforts in the region. To date, this has limited our opportunity to have experts at Sierra to fully assess all that needs to be done.

We understand Hwy 50 will reopen tomorrow, however the resort remains closed, as is the Eldorado National Forest. The US Forest Service has a security guard positioned at the entrance to the resort and is only admitting fire crews and personnel affiliated with PG&E, who are onsite working hard to restore power to all those who have been impacted along the Hwy 50 corridor.

Our partners at the USFS have begun to survey the situation on the ground at Sierra and as of today, have crews actively removing fire damaged trees along Sierra-at-Tahoe Road. We expect we will know more soon about the level of support they can provide within the resort boundary itself, as there are a significant number of fire damaged trees there too.

Although we have not yet inspected all of the lifts, we have been able to look at several of them. Nob Hill and Short Stuff have sustained damage to varying degrees. When the fire crews wrap up their work, we will be able to really get in and understand more about the level of repair needed and the timeline related to how quickly that can happen.

In the meantime, we are making every effort to not only assess the damage, but to do what we can to restore as much of our resort operations as possible prior to the start of the season.

On behalf of our entire Sierra-at-Tahoe team, we appreciate your patience and support. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more and begin to develop a clearer picture of our operational plans for this season.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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