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Campers trapped in national forest by 'hellish' California wildfire

Monday, September 7th 2020, 11:50 am - An intense heatwave has sent temperatures soaring in parts of California and have contributed to several rapidly spreading wildfires.

A military helicopter rescued dozens of people from a California campground on Saturday as the Creek Fire near Shaver Lake rapidly spread.

The Fresno Fire Department stated on Twitter that 63 campers were rescued from a reservoir in the Sierra National Forest. Two campers were severely injured, 10 were moderately injured and 51 had minor or no injuries.

Just one day later, at least 224 people were rescued from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area after the Creek Fire blocked the only road out of the recreation site, as reported by CNN.

"The situation only can be described as just hellish conditions out there for those poor people," said Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue.

creek wildfire sierra national forest by Ryan Waugh Creek Fire burning in the Sierra National Forest, California. Credit: Sierra National Forest/ Ryan Waugh

Juliana Park took to Twitter to share her experience driving through the flames as she fled the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area, which can be seen in the video above.

Pogue says that he believes everyone had been rescued from the area on Sunday morning, but officials are still looking out for others that could be stranded in the remote wilderness.

The Creek Fire started in a forest south of Yosemite National Park and quickly grew to roughly 14,600 hectares (36,000 acres) in just one day. As of Monday morning, 73,278 hectares (181,074 acres) have been burned and the fire is zero per cent contained.

California is experiencing a record-breaking wildfire season and over 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) have been scorched, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

An intense heatwave and bone-dry conditions have resulted in several California wildfires rapidly growing in size. California and other southwestern regions in the United States have recently seen sweltering conditions, with Woodland Hills, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles, reaching 48.3°C on Saturday.

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