Millennium Post

Firefighters overtaken by flames in California mountains

Shaver Lake (California): More than a dozen California firefighters trying to protect a fire station from flames were overrun by the blaze, and several were hurt.

Elsewhere, military helicopters rescued more than 150 people stranded in the burning wilderness.

Fourteen firefighters deployed emergency shelters as flames overtook them on Tuesday and destroyed the Nacimiento Station in the Los Padres National Forest on the state's central coast, the US Forest Service said.

They suffered from burns and smoke inhalation, and three were flown to a hospital in Fresno, where one was in critical condition.

The injuries came as wind-driven flames of more than two dozen major fires chewed through bone-dry California after a scorching Labour Day weekend that saw a dramatic airlift of more than 200.

Rescue choppers pulled another 164 people from the Sierra National Forest through the morning and were working to rescue 17 others, said Governor Gavin Newsom, who described pilots wearing night-vision goggles to find a place to land.

"It's where training meets the moment, but it always takes the courage, the conviction and the grit of real people doing real work," said Newsom, who called the fires historic.

California has already set a record with nearly 2.3 million acres burned this year, and the worst part of the wildfire season is just beginning.

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