California ski resort deploys snow machines in firefighting

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe in the U.S. state of California have deployed snow machines to protect themselves from a massive wildfire. The so-called Caldor fire has been raging since August 14, and has already laid hundreds of buildings and more than 825 square kilometers of land in ashes.

The 22,000 inhabitants of Lake Tahoe had to evacuate on Monday as the fire came their way unexpectedly. Ski resorts deploy snow cannons to spray water onto buildings and the cork-dry slopes, firefighters are said to have used the ski lifts to get up the mountain. The tourist town and ski resorts have come off unscathed, although a number of nearby houses and businesses are still threatened by the fire.

โ€œWe sent the fire around the city,โ€ said Fire Chief Jason Hunter. A change in wind direction helped the fire department to do so on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. โ€œTheres also a lot of heavy machinery deployed,โ€ Hunter said. The wind should lie down Thursday night and Friday, causing the fire brigade to make progress with the extinguishing work.

In California, which is plagued by drought, fifteen major wildfires are currently raging.