The US military saved about 100 people from wildfires in the US state of California on Tuesday. Campers, hikers and residents of the state, among others, have been evacuated.
One of the fires started at a gender reveal party
In some cases, the helicopters have to land just 15 meters from major fires to pick up people. Some rescued persons have been burned.
One of the military pilots said flying in the fires is more dangerous than flying in a war zone while being shot at. Since the fires broke out in August, two pilots have already died.
Rescue missions must be carried out partly at night so that they can use night vision goggles to see through the smoke.
The wildfires 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 10,000 people are currently homeless.
One of the big new fires, a fire in El Dorado County, is said to have started during a gender reveal party, reports BBC News. A smoke machine was used at this party, where the sex of an unborn child was revealed. sparks from the appliance started a fire. This fire has now spread over 3,000 hectares.