224 Campers Evacuated by Helicopter from Mammoth Pools to Escape ‘Hellish’ Creek Fire

Photo: Cal OES/Mark Ghilarducci

It was a hellish night in the Sierra National Forest over Labor Day Weekend as the Creek Fire grew at a dangerous rate near the Mammoth Pool Reservoir, forcing officials to evacuate 224 campers by helicopter.

Campers at the remote lake just southwest of Yosemite National Park were alerted by a helicopter public address system on Saturday afternoon that the fire had blocked the only road to the camping area. The campers anxiously waited into the evening, sheltering in place in their campsites and awaiting further evacuation discussions.

The campers were stuck in what looked to be an inescapable situation, where officials alerted them to enter the water of the lake if the fire took over their camping area:

In the evening, the National Guard was called in to evacuate the trapped campers via helicopter. As of Sunday morning, officials believed everyone in the area had been evacuated, although around 20 people had injuries from broken bones to burns.

For the people who were able to escape the area with their car, they saw the explosive nature of the wildfire in person:

It was a terrifying night for the people that had to be evacuated and a heroic performance from officials who were able to execute the evacuations. The Creek Fire has burned over 100,000 acres in 24 hours and fire officials are going to be dealing with dangerous winds in the upcoming days.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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