BUTTE COUNTY (CBS13) – Dramatic video released by the California Highway Patrol showed a rescue of four injured U.S. National Guard members inside the firelines in Butte County this weekend.
The crew had been assisting in battling the Bear Fire when they suddenly couldn’t get out on their own. A camera captured the view from a CHP helicopter over the smoky wilderness in and around the Bear Fire in Butte county.
Flight Officer Matt Calcutt was the paramedic on board for the rescue.
“The complexity of this particular rescue is that it was in steep rugged terrain, and it’s also in the fire line,” Calcutt said. “So there’s all sorts of consideration we have to take in during the call.”
There are more than 600 National Guard members assigned to California wildfires working under the supervision of Cal Fire. This crew was carrying hand tools and cutting fire breaks in a remote area when they got injured and stuck.
“I can’t even begin to describe the conditions that they’re working in. It’s so extreme,” Calcutt said.
The wildfire danger is not just for people living along the firelines. For these Nation Guard members, the only way out was up.
The four were treated for injuries to their legs and heat exhaustion. They have all been released from the hospital.