In California, an airlift was used to start a rescue operation to evacuate camping guests away from a forest fire. The campers were cut off from the outside world by road, in a nature reserve in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, south of Yosemite National Park. The only access road to the Mammoth Pool site is not accessible due to the fire.
Helicopters from the National Guard in California bring the people to safety. At least six people have been hospitalized with burns, local media report. Two people are badly injured. A triage tent has been set up at Fresno airport, the nearest major city. where 65 people have been treated so far.
How many people are still stuck is not known exactly. According to the LA Times, the immediate danger to the people still in the area has passed because the fire front has moved north.
From the lake near the camp site, the clouds of smoke from the fire are clearly visible. See the images below:
Firemen are trying to fight the fire and clear the way. Fire extinguishers have also been deployed. The camping guests were told to jump into a nearby lake if the fire would continue to advance.
Forest fires have been raging in the American state for over two weeks. The first fires were caused by lightning and were able to spread quickly, because the extreme heat in California is cork-dried. More than 6,000 square kilometers of forest have already gone up in flames.
The smoke of the fire can be seen all the way around
At least eight people died in the fire and almost 3300 houses and other buildings were burned down; as a result, more than 10,000 people had to look for another shelter. More than 12,000 firefighters are trying to extinguish the various forest fires.
The Governor of California has declared a state of emergency.