Wildfires Impact Ski Areas Across the West

As snow falls across the Rockies, resorts closer to the Pacific continue to deal with drought conditions and wildland fires. Most immediately threatened is California’s China Peak from the 153,000 acre Creek Fire. “We are aware that the fire has reached our mountain and a strike team is working hard to manage the flames and protect structures on the base area,” said a statement from the resort last night. “Employee housing has been damaged, but we have no other information at this time.” China Peak operates a total of six fixed grip chairlifts.

Eight different National Forests in California shut down to the public effective 5:00 pm on Labor Day due to extreme fire danger. Mammoth Mountain and Snow Summit are among those temporarily suspending mountain operations in partnership with the Forest Service.

In Oregon, a fire ignited within the Mt. Hood Meadows boundary on Monday. Meadows fired up the Stadium Express for firefighters, who were able to contain the blaze to a few acres without damage to lifts or facilities.

The Mt. Hood National Forest is now closed to the public. Timberline Lodge has suspended outdoor operations until further notice (skiing on Palmer Glacier ended August 30th this year.)

In Washington, Crystal Mountain remains largely inaccessible due to fire-related road closures.

On the good news front, the Medio Fire near New Mexico’s Ski Santa Fe is 90 percent contained and the Bridger Foothills Fire threatening Montana’s Bridger Bowl has been slowed by wet weather.

Please keep firefighters and resort employees working to protect ski areas in your thoughts during this challenging time.


9 thoughts on “Wildfires Impact Ski Areas Across the West

  1. Peter Landsman September 9, 2020 / 8:08 am

    Creek Fire satellite image from yesterday. China Peak is on the far right about half way down.


  2. Mason Schade September 9, 2020 / 9:42 am

    Thank you for bringing this to consideration Peter!


  3. Peter Landsman September 9, 2020 / 1:34 pm

    More closures:


  4. Andy September 9, 2020 / 3:28 pm

    In my opinion it is going to take a supreme miracle and a lot of hard work (constant water from the snow making pumps prior to the fire edge arriving) to keep China Peak safe. When Soldier Mountain in Idaho got hit with fire on Aug 5, that was a fast moving grass fire. This one , the Creek Fire, has the heat of thirty miles of forest behind its leading edge. My prayers to all you, in this same predicament.


  5. Peter Landsman September 9, 2020 / 3:41 pm

    Update from China Peak: “We have encouraging news. As of noon Wednesday we have incurred damage to a handful of our seasonal employee housing trailers and a few trailers owned by our full time staff. The base area has not been damaged at all so far, and we also believe the China Peak Landing has escaped damage to this point. We are waiting for a report this afternoon from an on site expert who will be at the top of the mountain to assess any damage to lifts, motor rooms, other up mountain buildings.”


    • Andy September 9, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      thanks for keeping us up to date and posting these links to Fire Status


  6. HoodRacer September 10, 2020 / 12:18 am

    PGE officials cut power preemptively to Mt. Hood around Labor Day and it’s estimated that it won’t be restored until Sunday, 9/13. Great to see Stadium was useful to the firefighters at Meadows; with how often they run it in the winter I’m sure that will increase its annual ridership considerably.


  7. Peter Landsman September 10, 2020 / 10:34 am

    All 18 National Forests in California now closed.


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