Tram reopens as firefighters work to put out wildfire


Firefighters hope today to contain a brush fire that has charred about 60 acres near the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, causing the attraction to close for a day.

The blaze broke out near the tram's upper parking lot near Highway 111 and Tramway Road about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday and burned uphill, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Firefighters had the fire 20 percent contained, or surrounded, this morning and they hope to have the fire fully surrounded by 8 p.m. today. The blaze was stopped at 60 acres, and firefighters prevented it from spreading to the tram, according to the Forest Service.

The tram reopened this morning, according to spokeswoman Lena Smith.

``We are grateful to the firefighters for their quick response and hard work in getting this fire under control,'' Rob Parkins, the tram's general manager, said.

Today, firefighters will keep monitoring fire conditions, and will use water and retardant-dropping helicopters as needed. The steep and rocky terrain and heat can make firefighting in the area difficult, according to the Forest Service.

There were no reports of injuries or damaged structures as a result of the fire, which was being fought mainly by hand crews and helicopters because of the steep terrain. A total of 200 firefighters were deployed, along with seven engines and four air tankers, according to the Forest Service.

How the fire started, if known, has not been disclosed. The Palm Springs Fire Department is in charge of the probe, according to the Forest Service.

The tram will be closed from Saturday to Aug. 31 for annual maintenance.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries