Thirteen People Rescued in California Blaze

Pacific Gas and Electric workers stand along Highway 168 as the Creek Fire advances. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Thirteen people were rescued from a blaze in California’s Sierra National Forest early Tuesday, according to the California Army National Guard, as wildfires continued to sweep the state.

Helicopters were unable to begin airlifting the 50 people trapped by the fire yesterday, due to heavy smoke.

The first of three helicopters sent out there on Tuesday morning was successful in reaching 13 people at one of several remote campsites due to improvement in the weather.

At least 24 homes were destroyed by the blaze in the small mountain town of Big Creek. Fresno County Sheriff’s Office warned residents on Tuesday to be ready to evacuate as the red glow of the flames was seen from the towns of Tollhouse and Aubrey. At least one death was reported.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company said it was shutting off power in 22 counties in northern and central California as high winds forecast through Wednesday increasing the risk of new fires being sparked.

In a heroic act, when firefighters ran out of water on Saturday night, two plant employees who had been evacuated from Big Creek raced back into the flames to attach a new water supply.

East of San Diego another blaze was growing in intensity early Tuesday. It remains 0% contained as it moves east toward the town of Corte Madera.