Owl Escapes California’s Raging Creek Fire by Hitching Ride on Helicopter

by Halle Ames

One lucky owl caught a ride out of the flames of California’s Creek Fire by entering a small window of a helicopter.

The scared bird sat next to the UH-1 Huey Helicopter’s pilot, Sky Aviation’s Dan Alpiner. It tagged along for nearly ten minutes while the crew made several water drops on the charred land below.

Alpiner said he only captured one photo of the owl because “it’s not easy to fly a mission and be a photographer at the same time.”

He does admit that he was nervous about the owl at first, but the two “locked eyes and the thing looked around and was chill. And then I was like, “OK then, you are going to work with me.'”

According to Sky Aviation, the winds generated by the helicopters are strong enough to knock down a human. For a bird to fly into the aircraft is incredible.

“It’s unheard of to have it enter while the helo is in-flight. It’s an unexplainable and magical miracle for it to stay with you for several water drops, then leave just as it arrived – safe and unannounced.”

According to Cal Fire, the Creek Fire has been active for 40 days. 19 crews of nearly 1,000 firefighters have been working to fight the flames. The wildfire started on September 4 and is currently burning in the two counties of Fresno and Madera. The blaze has injured twenty-three people. In addition, 71 structures have been damaged, and 856 have been completely destroyed. The fire is also only 55 percent contained at this time.

The Creek Fire is the single largest fire in California’s history, charring over 341,7000 acres of land so far.

[H/T Daily Mail]