According to the latest report, at least 150 people were trapped near a large fire in the Fresno district on Saturday. Some were rescued by helicopters, and there have been reports of burn victims.
The town was near the Mammoth Pool reservoir, located about 50 miles south of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra National Forest, which covers Fresno, Madera and Mariposa counties. According to The Fresno Bee and other media reports, Sierra National Forest officials initially estimated that 1,000 people were trapped by the rapidly growing watercourse fire. The fire cut off the only path to the mammoth pool and trapped them in the camp, according to Sierra National Forest spokesperson Dan Tune.
All of our resources are working to make this escape route beautiful and safe for them,” he said.
Shortly before 9 p.m., Sierra National Forest tweeted that at least 53 people had been rescued from the Mammoth Pool boat launch area and were being examined for injuries. At 10:00 p.m. it was unclear if others were to be evacuated.
The Fresno Fire Department, which assisted in the fires, reported that at least 63 patients, 20 of them potentially critical, were transported from Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to local hospitals.
Blackhawk helicopters transported 20 patients at a time. It is unclear whether all the patients were from Mammoth Pool or Creek Fire in general.
At least six burn victims rescued from the Mammoth Pool area were taken to Fresno County Regional Medical Center and prepared for the possibility of further burn injuries, according to the Fresno Bee.
The Madera County Sheriff tweeted at 7:30 p.m. that 150 people had been sheltered at Mammoth Pool and at least 10 injuries had been reported. “Everyone is safe at this time,” the Sheriff tweeted.
The people at Mammoth Pool were told to seek shelter at the site until firefighters could reach the site, and to jump in the water if necessary. It was not known how close the fire was to the camp or the reservoir itself.
The creek fire, which started Saturday morning, quickly grew to an estimated 36,000 acres by nightfall, according to Cal Fire. The fire sent a huge cloud of smoke visible from space.
At least 2,000 buildings located near the San Joaquin River and the communities of Big Creek and Huntington Lake were threatened by the fire, according to Sierra National Forest officials. The cause is being investigated and it has been reported that the fire was contained to 0%.
Residents of Big Creek and Huntington Lake Townships were forcibly evacuated and Hwy 168 was closed in the area. Authorities warned weekend visitors who were on vacation on Labor Day to stay away from the popular lake area.
A woman named Jules, posted a video on Twitter saying she had cut short her trip having to drive through wild fire to move out of the Sierra National Forest.
For everyone insisting they (news and media) pay me, that’d be great!!!!! But our group obviously didn’t post this for that reason. We were simply trying to survive. Thx. My Venmo is @parkjuli though
— Jules (@julipdoe) September 6, 2020