Firefighters airlifted to hospital amid 'historic' California fires

2020-09-09 10:09:51.017 | view 99 | share : |

San Francisco Sep.9 (dpa) - Several firefighters have been injured while struggling to contain wildfires in California and three have been flown to hospital, the US Forest Service said on Tuesday.

They were part of a group of 14 firefighters surrounded by flames earlier in the day in the Los Padres National Forest near Big Sur in California's central coast.

Nearly 14,000 firefighters fought 25 major fires in the west coast state on Tuesday, the fire department said.

Governor Gavin Newsom thanked the helpers for their fight against the "historic" fires.

A record area of more than 8,000 square kilometres of land has already been destroyed this year, although the "peak season" for fires in the autumn is still ahead, Newsom emphasized. The effects of climate change are abundantly clear, the Democrat said.

A fire in the Sierra Nevada mountains, some 370 kilometres east of San Francisco, which has been raging since Friday is spreading further into the hard-to-reach forest area.

The fire has already destroyed more than 60 houses and was zero per cent under control, the fire department said.

Despite heavy smoke and dangerous flight conditions, hikers and campers were continuing to visit the area and many were rescued from the danger zone by military helicopters.

On Tuesday, they brought more than 200 people to safety, the National Guard said on Twitter. Over the weekend, more than 200 vacationers had been flown out with helicopters from a campground in the forest.