The US military saved about 100 people from wildfires in the US state of California on Tuesday. Campers, hikers and local residents, among others, have been brought out of the flames.
One of the fires started at a gender reveal party
In some cases, the helicopters have to land just 50 feet from major fires to pick up people. Some rescued people have been burned.
One of the military pilots said flying in the fires was more dangerous than flying in a war zone while being shot at. Two pilots have already died since the fires in August.
Rescue missions must be performed partly at night so that pilots can use night vision goggles to see through the smoke.
The fires have already destroyed more than 8,000 square miles of forest and are the most devastating wildlife tires in California since 1987. Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Monday. The emergency measure currently applies to five large counties, including San Diego and San Bernardino.
Three weeks ago, the first fires started as a result of a number of lightning strikes. More than 1.5 million hectares of forest have now been affected by the fire and more than ten thousand people are currently homeless.
One of the big new fires, in El Dorado County, is said to have started during a gender reveal party, reports BBC News. At this party, disclosing the sex of an unborn child, a smoking machine was used. sparks from the appliance started a fire. This fire has now spread over 3,000 hectares.