Video: Highway patrol helicopter rescues firefighters from Calif. wildfire

Four National Guardsmen found themselves trapped after battling the Bear Fire, officials said

By Suzie Ziegler

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. — Video released by California Highway Patrol over the weekend shows the dramatic rescue of four injured National Guardsmen trapped by a wildfire. 

According to CBS 13, the Guardsmen were helping to fight the Bear Fire when they found themselves inside the firelines and unable to get out. 

Video from the helicopter shows the Guardsmen standing on a smoky hillside. A helicopter rescue technician lowers a rope to each waiting firefighter in turn. All four crew members were taken to a hospital and are expected to make a full recovery, CHP confirmed.

“The complexity of this particular rescue is that it was in steep rugged terrain, and it’s also in the fire line,” Flight Officer Matt Calcutt told CBS 13. “So there’s all sorts of consideration we have to take in during the call.” 

The firefighters were treated for injuries to their legs and heat exhaustion, reported CBS 13.


Firefighters Rescued by CHP Helicopter This afternoon, CHP Helicopter H20 was requested by CAL Fire Oroville to the North Complex West Fire. H20 assisted with the rescue of four injured firefighters. Injuries to the firefighters were extremity and heat related injures. H20 crew picked up Firefighter Benton, Nevada County Fire Helicopter Rescue Technician, who was inserted via hoist to facilitate the extraction of the firefighters on a steep and rugged mountain side, north of the South Fork of the Feather River. All four firefighters were hoisted from the mountain side and transported to an awaiting Butte County ambulance for transport to Oroville Hospital. All are expected to make a full recovery. Pilot- Jensen Paramedic- Calcutt CHP – Valley Division Nevada County Consolidated FD CAL FIRE/Butte County Butte County Sheriff

Posted by CHP - Valley Division Air Operations on Saturday, October 3, 2020

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