National Guard attempting to rescue dozens trapped amid California wildfire

CALIFORNIA (ABC News) – The National Guard is working to rescue dozens of people who are still trapped near the Creek Fire in Fresno County, California.

There are multiple locations where people are unable to get out; the record-high heat, low humidity, wind conditions and rugged terrain have made rescue operations difficult.

There are currently rescue operations underway — a National Guard helicopter is trying to reach Hidden Lake and a Navy search and rescue helicopter is heading towards Lake Edison where people are trapped, Col. Jesse Miller with the California National Guard told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

“Mother Nature is trying to help us out this morning with some of the smoke clearing, allowing visibility for the aircraft to pick up the landing zones and get in safely to our folks here in California,” Miller said.

Overnight, 13 people were rescued from China Peak by a National Guard helicopter. There were more than 200 people rescued on Monday, officials said.

At least 65 structures have been destroyed and more than 5,300 homes are threatened.

The Creek Fire is located near the communities of Shaver Lake, Big Creek and Huntington Lake. The fire has also spread towards the San Joaquin River.

Approximately 976 firefighters were battling the blaze on Monday, Cal Fire said.

The National Guard said it was unable to access the area overnight and were forced to halt the rescue because of the conditions — efforts to reach people trapped will resume Tuesday morning.

The condition of the people who remain trapped is unclear, the National Guard said.

Categories: National News