POINT REYES (CBS SF) — Two firefighters were plucked from the western Marin wildlands, pulled to safety by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department helicopter crew, after they became trapped Friday night by the advancing flames of the Woodward Fire.
The fire erupted after a lightning strike in the Point Reyes National Seashore and had grown to more than 2,259 acres by early Saturday, threatening more than 1,600 structures. Fire officials said they had 5 percent containment of the blaze.
An evacuation warning was issued for the coastal communities of Olemos and Inverness on Saturday morning.
Caution: Contains some graphic language
The dramatic rescue began with a call to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department from the Marin Fire Department at approximately 8:15 p.m.
Two firefighters battling the advancing flames had become trapped on a ridgeline and were unable to make it out of the path of the advancing fire.
When the Henry 1 helicopter arrived, the flames had closed to within 75 yards of the firefighters. To complicate the situation, the fire was creating strong, gusting winds that intensified as the rescue crew approached.
The chopper initially set down a mile from where the firefighters were trapped, quickly deploying safety rigging that allowed for a crewmember to be lowered to the firefighters.
Once on scene, both firefighters were strapped into the gear and lifted to safety.
“We are thrilled that both firefighters are unharmed and in good spirits,” the sheriff’s department posted in social media.