LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As crews battle the Mahogany Fire, a couple of resorts on Mt. Charleston evacuated visitors and closed. 8 News Now looked at how the decision helped a popular destination prepare to assist firefighters.
Lee Canyon’s general manager told us at least 300 people were asked to leave around 4 p.m. as a precaution. This is a few hours earlier than normal closing time and was due to the fire being roughly five miles away.
The decision helped the resort prepare to fight any potential nearby flames with the 8 million-gallon reservoir on its property. The water is normally used to make snow in the winter but is now available as a resource for firefighters to draw water, like they did during the Carpenter 1 Fire.
Staff also spent a few hours yesterday setting up snow-making machines on the slopes. The equipment can now blow a mist on buildings and the mountain to deter flames.
“The snow-making system is not charged, so there’s not usually water in it,” explained Lee Canyon General manager Dan Hopper, “so that’s what we did yesterday afternoon, make sure those water lines were charged full of water and ready to go.”
Hopper told us staff did not need to use the machines yet.
As a reminder, Lee Canyon is normally closed during the week and only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Mt. Charleston Lodge on Kyle Canyon Road also evacuated guests from the restaurant around 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon. 8 News Now was told the property will remain closed today.
Many are still waiting on NV Energy to restore power on the mountain, as the power company shut it off as a precaution.
The Retreat on Charleston Peak is open. It is now a comfort center, with a generator provided by NV Energy to power the facility. The partnership between the utility and rustic lodge formed last year to aid mountain residents when the company voluntarily shuts power off to the area.
When the power is off, the internet goes down, and many people cannot access their well water.
“The focus is now on the 400 residents of Mt. Charleston,” said Deanna Crossman, owner of the Retreat. “They’re coming down to get some relief from the heat, get some AC, running water, food and beverage.”
NV Energy also sent up a fridge truck this afternoon, giving people a chance to pick up ice for food and other needs.
Down the mountain, the Red Cross closed the evacuation center at Bilbray Elementary School. However, the organization can reopen the shelter if it is needed.
NV Energy expects to restore power to the mountain later this evening. It remains off as firefighters work to contain the fire.