For 207 hikers in California, a trip outdoors turned into a scene from a horror movie. On September 5, a massive wildfire subsequently trapped them in Sierra National Forest, cutting off all their exits.
In a video, one of those trapped showed off his predicament afterward. Jeremy Remington remained calm as he addressed the camera. Spinning around, he also showed the fire growing closer and closer around him. The fire had transformed the generally peaceful camping area near Mammoth Pool Reservoir into a fiery hell-scape.
“Just wanted to show you, if we make it out of this.. We are completely trapped,” Remington said. “There’s fire on all sides, all around us. All the roads are burnt.”
Dennis Valera, a local reporter, shared Remington’s video in a tweet. He confirmed firefighters had rescued the hiker and that Remington also arrived in Fresno around midnight.
Helicopters rescued the hikers from the wildfire.
Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters performed the rescues, according to The California Office of Emergency Services. The rescues began late Saturday evening and continued into Sunday morning. Emergency service took 20 people to local hospitals. Two suffered severe injuries that needed treating.
Two campers chose to stay behind, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
A photo posted by the California National Guard showed 20 people in an aircraft after they had been rescued.
The Creek Fire started on Friday but grew seven times larger on Saturday. High temperatures and dry conditions also aided the fire’s growth. As a result, the wildfire crossed the San Joaquin River, blocking off the only entrance to the Mammoth Pool Campground, according to national forrest spokesman Dan Tune.
“Once the fire gets going, it creates its own weather, adding wind to increase the spread,” Tune said.
In total, the fire has scorched through 71 square miles. By Sunday morning, firefighters had contained just 5 percent of the blaze.
[H/T: New York Post]