California Woolsey Fire: Watch Los Angeles Firefighters Make 'Daring' Mountain Rescue [VIDEO]

As wildfires ravaged California, firefighters worked to stop the flames and minimize destruction. One rescue, conducted on a mountain, demonstrated how far firefighters will go to save lives.

On November 9, Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Air Operations Pilots David Nordquist and Joel Smith were conducting a water drop when they received a request for a follow-on mission to conduct a rescue. LAFD Spokesperson Margaret Stewart said that near Castro Peak in Malibu, California, the "smoke column thickened and darkened with danger."

Stewart characterized the landing as "incredibly complex" because the target was a narrow peak filled with service buildings, vehicles and antennae. A video of the rescue posted by the LAFD on Monday showed clouds of smoke surrounding the hillside and low visibility for the pilots. On the approach, the air appeared orange from the flames and one of the pilots said, "This isn't looking good."

The two pilots worked together to locate a spot for landing, noting that "fuel is critical" as they were already running low. Fortunately, the two are able to successfully land on the smoke-filled peak. While Nordquist maintained control of the idling helicopter, Smith jumped out to bring the stranded people and their dogs to the helicopter.

firefighters rescue dogs, people woolsey fire california fire
Two Los Angeles Fire Department Air Operations Pilots David Nordquist and Joel Smith made a daring rescue to save three people and their two dogs from the Woolsey Fire. LAFD Photo by David Nordquist

After a few minutes, a woman with a dog on a leash came out of the brush, escorted by Smith. The woman, the dog and another person made it into the helicopter quickly and seemingly without any problem. However, when the man attempted to get the English mastiff to follow suit, the dog froze. The dog sat down, faced away from the helicopter and refused to budge.

"There's one dog here, English mastiff, a little apprehensive, but we're getting him on board," Nordquist relayed over the radio.

After some reassuring pats and support from the man holding the leash, the English mastiff ran to the helicopter and got a boost inside. Followed by the man, all three people and two dogs were safely in the helicopter.

"Alright, let's get the hell out of here," Smith said after climbing back into his seat.

As the helicopter pulled up into the air, flames burned the side of the mountain and both pilots expressed the sentiment that the rescue was a close call.

"That's enough excitement for me today," one of the pilots said, to which the other responded, "You and me both, brother."

After the successful rescue mission, the pilots returned to the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the helicopter could re-fuel.

Stewart explained that the "daring" mountain rescue exemplified the core values of the LAFD, which she identified as "service, professionalism, integrity, respect, innovation and trust."

The Woolsey Fire broke out on November 8 and has since burned 96,949 acres in Ventura County and Los Angeles County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). Since it broke out, 1,500 structures were destroyed and three people were killed. As of Tuesday evening, the fire was 96 percent contained and Cal Fire estimated full containment would be reached on Thursday.