“The snowblowers are used because they shoot water into the air,” said NewsMadura meteorologist Taylor Ward. “Anything that gets moisture in the air is good. Essentially in the winter they shoot water up into the air and it condenses and turns into snow. In this case it was just to try and get things wet.”
Heavenly helps firefighters in other ways. Cal Fire has set up a base at the resort that will keep firefighters closer to the fire, Cal Fire’s Mike Marcucci told NewsMadura.
Cal Fire plans to de Caldor Fire in areas around Heavenly where they have already made fuel adjustments as it crosses the Sierra Nevada mountain line. Fires feed on dry shrubs and trees. With Heavenly, this fuel will be wet, slowing down the fire.
Because of the high winds that firefighters have faced, spot fires — caused by embers landing beyond fire lines — can occur up to a mile away and make extinguishing fires very difficult and dangerous, Ward said.
“Spotting continues to be a problem. They’ve been a problem since the very first day of this incident, and that’s what makes this fire grow exponentially, so once we start slowing down the wind, we’re going to see the spot get closer to firing distances,” he said. Steve Volmer of Cal Fire told NewsMadura on Wednesday.
In the past 24 hours, the Caldor Fire has grown to 210,259 acres and is 25% contained, Cal Fire said in an update, noting that there was less activity at night” due to calmer winds in the area.
The wildfire has destroyed at least 622 homes and threatened 32,387 buildings, according to Cal Fire.