Injured National Guard Members Rescued from California Fires in Dramatic Video

Four National Guard members battling the Bear Fire in Butte County were airlifted from the side of a mountain by a California Highway Patrol (CPH) helicopter, according to a video released by the CHP.

The video showed a view from the CHP helicopter over the wilderness in the fire area where the National Guard members were stranded while fighting the blaze. The crew members were in a remote area carrying hand tools and cutting fire breaks when they were injured and got stuck, CBS Sacramento reported.

The paramedic on board for the rescue, flight officer Matt Calcutt, told CBS Sacramento: "The complexity of this particular rescue is that it was in steep rugged terrain, and it's also in the fire line. So there's all sorts of consideration we have to take in during the call."

The four National Guard members were treated for injuries to their legs as well as heat exhaustion and have all been released from hospital, CBS Sacramento reported.

The Bear Fire forms parts of the North Complex Fire, which has spread to 318,724 acres, with 83 percent contained, according to the latest report Monday from the Incident Information System of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

More than 600 National Guard members have been assigned to help battle the ongoing California wildfires under the supervision of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).

"I can't even begin to describe the conditions that they're working in. It's so extreme," Calcutt noted.

"Two MAFFS C-130 airtankers and support personnel from the 146th Airlift Wing (California Air National Guard) and one MAFFS C-130 airtanker and support personnel from each the 153rd Airlift Wing (Wyoming Air National Guard) and the 152nd Airlift Wing (Nevada Air National Guard) have been deployed to support wildland fire operations in California," according to the latest report Sunday from the National Interagency Fire Center.

Last month, President Donald Trump awarded seven California National Guard members with the Distinguished Flying Cross for their "distinguished acts of heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on September 5," a military aide noted at a medal ceremony held in McClellan Park, California.

The September 5 flight operation saw National Guard members rescue 242 adults and children who were trapped by the Creek Fire in California.

As California fires continue to rage across the state, firefighting efforts have been hampered by crew shortages amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Back in July, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state plans to hire 858 more firefighters and six California Conservation Corps (CCC) crews through October in view of the ongoing pandemic.

"California is better prepared against the threat of wildfire today than at any time in our history. Even in a challenging budget climate, we have undertaken major action and made significant investments to fortify our state and help fight increasingly severe wildfires," Newsom stated at the time.

More than 16,500 firefighters continue to battle 23 major wildfires across the state, according to the latest report Sunday by Cal Fire.

The National Interagency Fire Center noted Sunday: "Wildland fire activity is beginning to slow down slightly in the West. Many of the western wildland fires had little growth in acres burned. California continues to have the most wildland fire activity with 19 of the 65 large fires reported nationally."

Bear Fire California September 2020
A law enforcement officer watches flames launch into the air amid the ongoing Bear Fire in California on September 9. Four injured National Guard members were rescued from a remote area of the Bear Fire. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images