Are Snow Guns Effective Fighting Wildfires?

Are Snow Guns Effective Fighting Wildfires?


Are Snow Guns Effective Fighting Wildfires?


9NEWS Denver asked the question and the answer is yes and no. Yes if a fire is barreling down on a location with snow guns and an existing water supply, they can be preemptively used to saturate the area and prevent fires from spreading but operation doesn’t really allow for the guns to be deployed remotely. Snow guns are designed to work in concert with existing infrastructure at the resort, like the pumps, the nearby water supply and the pipes that run under the ski runs.

“Once you were to remove the snow gun from that system, it wouldn’t work. So it’s not really practical to bring guns and transport them to another location to a remote fire.” -Eldora Marketing Director Sam Bass

Bass said they can’t bring their snow guns to a wildfire, but he does believe that they would be effective in a fighting a wildfire if there was ever one that moved onto resort property:

“Our snow making system in that case, is the primary means of fire protection if Eldora’s boundaries were to be threatened by wildfire.”

In Eldora’s case, snow guns can spray up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute, and they can cover 90% of their terrain. Eldora has a fire mitigation plan where they keep their snow cannons primed during the offseason with water in the lines and they test them regularly because they know the ski resort, and rest of the community are prone to wildfire.

Not sure if this is standard practice among North American ski resorts in wildfire prone areas but it certainly should be.

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