Campers Rescued by Helicopter From Fire at Mammoth Pool Reservoir Recount Hourslong Nightmare
Campers sought shelter in the water to avoid the blaze and embers raining down.
Wildfires continue to burn out of control along the west coast, where the skies are a constant eerie orange glow and people are fleeing blazes all across the region.
One family might have been among those who lost their lives had they not jumped into a reservoir to save themselves. Rebecca Crouch, Cindy Drake and 12 friends and family members were camping in Northern California when the Creek Fire began to close in.
Once they realized what was happening, a convoy decided to drive to Mammoth Pool Reservoir about 10 minutes away. Drake said at least 200 people were camping in the area and everybody was scrambling in their vehicles on one road.
But when they got to the lake, they found themselves trapped by flames and embers raining down. There was no place to seek shelter but in the water.
"I was wrapping my daughter like this and was dunking her in and dunking her out,” Drake told Inside Edition.
"We just all huddled together in the water. We were holding onto the tops of ice chests that the guys ripped off as a flotation device,” Crouch said.
The ordeal lasted 10 long hours until National Guard helicopters came to their rescue.
“Everybody was cheering and flashing lights to get their attention because we didn't know if they knew we were there or not,” Crouch said.
Wildfires continue to devastate states along the western coast. Photos and videos showing a sunless, orange sky in many parts of California and Oregon made the rounds on social media.
Smoke from the fires are making the air not fit to breathe, and millions have been warned to stay indoors.
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