UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: As quickly as it began, the fire whose smoke dominated the skyline near Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this afternoon has been put out. Resort spokeswoman Anna Cole told the News&Guide the blaze had been extinguished, putting an end to one of the more dangerous Gaper Day moments in recent memory.
ORIGINAL STORY, 5:16 P.M.: There is a fire burning at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, about an hour after the lifts stopped spinning for Gaper Day 2021.
Resort spokeswoman Anna Cole told the News&Guide that a stand of downed trees was burning near the Sundance run under the Bridger Gondola shortly after 5 p.m., and pictures from the scene showed a plume of smoke rising from that area.
The cause is uncertain, Cole and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Chief Brady Hansen said.
“We don’t know why it started,” Hansen went on. “My first thought it was a controlled burn, but I don’t know anyone out there doing a controlled burn.”
Cole said the fire is more or less contained and that on-mountain staff will try to put it out completely this evening.
Hansen said Fire Marshall Kathy Clay was on scene looking to investigate the cause - and that the snow on the ground reduced the risk of spread.
“Gaper Day ends in chaos,” skier Andrew McKean, 27, said, texting the News&Guide to let reporters know about the blaze.