Helicopters Rescue 81 Campers Trapped by the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest

Helicopter crews from the National Guard and Navy were able to complete multiple daring rescue operations on Tuesday, airlifting 81 more campers to safety after they were trapped by the fast-moving Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest.

The twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook helicopter conducted multiple missions in the early morning on Tuesday, rescuing 13 people from the China Peak area and 22 from Lake Edison. The helicopter returned later in the morning to rescue 46 more people and four dogs from Lake Edison, completing what has been a daring and dangerous situation in the Sierra.

Tuesday’s rescue comes just days after 224 campers were rescued by helicopter at the Mammoth Pools Reservoir after the Creek Fire quickly moved to the campgrounds of the lake. With the only road to the campgrounds blocked by the flames, the National Guard was called in to perform a dangerous rescue amidst smoke and flames. Of all the rescues conducted over the weekend, one person died.

“Sunday evening, an older gentleman arrived at Vermillion Store, located on Edison Road in Mono Hot Springs,” said Tony Botti, spokesman for Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. “The man collapsed due a medical episode. Life-saving measures were taken, but he ended up passing away.”

Most of the people began their hiking routes on Friday afternoon before the Creek Fire started. The fire has destroyed 65 structures and and has no containment and dangerous winds and fire conditions are expected throughout Tuesday.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California

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