WOFFORD HEIGHTS, Calif. (KGET) — Monday was opening day at Alta Sierra Ski Resort with skiers and boarders enjoying the slopes. But today, they’re thankful to still have slopes at all.
Alta Sierra ski area has stood in Kern County for the better part of a century. Four months ago, it was nearly lost to the devastation of the French Fire.
Flames climbed up to the edge of Alta Sierra’s ski runs and the blaze completely encircled the lodge, which was defended with water from Alta Sierra’s multimillion gallon snow-making reservoir.
“It was horrible,” said Brian Kelly, Alta Sierra general manager. “Four months ago, when the plume came over the top, it looked close to a nuclear explosion. It was just devastating.”
But Alta Sierra survived, with only a couple of burn scars. Locals give thanks for the firefighters who battled the inferno, and appreciate opening day that much more.
It is unusual for Alta Sierra to be open this early. The recent storms that blew through Kern County helped with the resort’s opening day.