Sierra-at-Tahoe assess damage in the wake of Caldor Fire

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — Shortly after the Caldor Fire reached Sierra-at-Tahoe, the communities in the South Lake Tahoe area were evacuated, prompting employees and friends to pack their essentials and seek refuge away from the Tahoe Basin.

“Being patient for information has been one of the greatest challenges, as Sierra is more than just a ski resort, it’s our community…it’s our home” said Director of Marketing at Sierra Katie Hunter.

“I was glued to the webcams, cringing at the images in the night, not knowing what would become of our beloved Sierra,” said Hunter. “But my heart has been restored with hope after learning that our mountain was resilient through the inferno!”

The Caldor Fire passed through Sierra burning trees in various spots around the mountain, but also left many areas unscathed. The Nob Hill and Castle Creek areas of the resort were some of the most impacted based on initial reports, but further inspection of the entire mountain will need to be completed to assess the damage.

Off the mountain, the maintenance shop located at the base was destroyed along with Chill Carpet, a surface lift utilized primarily by beginners learning their first turns on the front side of the mountain. But, thanks to the preventive work completed by staff and firefighters on the ground, all Base Area buildings and lodges located on the mountain were saved.

With Highway 50 still closed and access to the resort prohibited, fire crews and personnel are on site to continue monitoring hot spots to prevent further damage to the resort.

When the smoke clears and air quality improves, Sierra will engage with specialists in fire damage restoration to assess everything from hazard trees and lifts to buildings and power to check for heat, smoke and collateral damage.

In an address to his staff, General Manager, John Rice said, “I have been blessed for so many years to be part of a great place, the people who call it home and the raw beauty of the area. We can come back. We will be back, to celebrate our 75th anniversary with our Sierra family this winter.”

With hope for the situation to stabilize soon, the Sierra-at-Tahoe team looks forward to persevering through the challenges ahead and are optimistic that they will resume preparations for the upcoming 2021/22 winter season

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