Firefighters quickly snuff small blaze at Heavenly | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Firefighters quickly snuff small blaze at Heavenly

William Ferchland

Trevor Clark / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Kings River Hot Shots enjoy their ride down the gondola at Heavenly Mountain Resort after containing the small wildfire that broke out by the former Ridge chairlift on Saturday.

A small fire — less than an acre — ignited Saturday afternoon at Heavenly Mountain Resort near the bottom of the former Ridge Chair on the upper California side.

Four helicopters circled above the blaze, dousing it with water from a nearby pond while five fire engines and several handcrews waged the battle from the ground.

The fire, called in at 2:42 p.m., was contained by natural barriers, said Gareth Harris, fire marshal for Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District. It was located along a flat area above Sky Shoot off Lower Ridge Run, said Russ Pecoraro, Heavenly’s spokesman.

The cause is under investigation but fire officials said it’s human caused.

Heavenly’s snow-making system was opened so firefighters could access water and the tram was used due to a wedding on top of the mountain scheduled to begin in the evening.

“We want to thank the fire crews for responding and getting the fire contained so quickly,” said Casey Blann, Heavenly’s vice president of mountain operations. “We keep the snowmaking system charged during the summer just for this reason.”

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Jonny Mills of the Kings River Hotshots near Fresno, said there were plenty of firefighters to ensure the fire’s demise.

“We could of held hands,” Mills said.

Mills’ crew was ready to demobilize from the Angora fire when they jumped at the chance to fight another fire and stay in Tahoe a little bit longer.

When the crew was ready to take the tram down, they posed for a picture on top of Heavenly.

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