National Guard rescues 200 from California wildfire

More than 200 people were rescued by the National Guard from a wildfire in a recreational area in California, officials said Sunday. 

The Madera County Sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that officials had rescued people sheltering-in-place at Mammoth Pool, a reservoir on the San Joaquin River about 45 miles north of Fresno, during the wildfire which was named the Creek Fire.  

Twenty of those rescued have been transported to area hospitals and “any others in need of medical attention are being treated,” the sheriff’s office said. 

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A National Guard spokesman told CBS San Francisco a Chinook helicopter airlifted the first 50 to 60 evacuees to Fresno Airport, adding that some had “been injured by the flame of the fire.” 

“A Blackhawk helicopter is also involved in the rescue,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma said in an email to the outlet. “At the airport, emergency response, fire and medical elements from the 144th Fighter Wing are on hand to assist. Both rotary wings are returning to the fire site to evacuate more people immediately.”

The California National Guard tweeted photos and video of the evacuees on and exciting the helicopter. 

The Creek Fire started Friday and by Saturday afternoon head spread to 56 square miles. It cut off the only road into the Mammoth Pool Campground, national forest spokesman said, according to KTLA 5

Tune said campers were told to shelter in place until fire crews could gain access to the site, KTLA 5 reported.