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Big Cottonwood Canyon • Firefighters were unable to fight a Friday afternoon fire at a Solitude Mountain Resort restaurant — due to access problems and a lack of water — and were forced to merely monitor the blaze as the building burned to the ground.

"We're just sitting here watching it," said Unified Fire Authority spokesman Dave Ulibarri on Friday evening.

Firefighters were taken by snowmobile up to where the midmountain Roundhouse restaurant, often called the Himalayan Hut, was burning.

"It's a place you ski to," Ulibarri explained. "There is no road access, and the resort closed on April 17."

No one was in the building, and only a few maintenance workers and other employees were still at the Big Cottonwood Canyon resort when the fire started at about 3:30 p.m., he said.

But because of the location, they were unable to do anything but make sure the blaze did not spread.

The fire was out by 7:20 p.m., when Ulibarri said crews were "just mopping up hot spots."

By evening, a fire investigator had arrived and was ferried to the fire scene.

"We're not suspecting anything suspicious," Ulibarri said in reference to how the blaze began.

Kim Hayhew, Solitude's general manager, said the 60-year-old Roundhouse building, made of wood and concrete, was one of the original resort structures.