200 rescued by helicopter to escape California wildfire

200 rescued by helicopter to escape California wildfire

Authorities in the US state of California organized a major helicopter rescue on Saturday night as wildfires continued to rage across the state.

The California governor’s office put the number of people rescued from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area at 200 in its latest update on Sunday morning.

At least 10 people were injured but no fatalities were reported, according to the local sheriff’s office.

Authorities issued evacuation orders after the brush fire in the Sierra National Forest threatened local communities. The California National Guard also warned that people across the state could face power outages over the Labour Day weekend due to high temperatures.

“A backpacking trip cut short by unforeseen thunder, ash rain, and having to drive through literal fire to evacuate,” one camper wrote on Twitter.

Satellite imagery showed enormous amounts of smoke had entered the skies above the western state by Saturday evening.

California is currently experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons on record. Last month saw unprecedented fires across the state, due in part to rising temperatures and ageing electrical infrastructure.

The state is under a fire weather watch until Wednesday due to gusty winds and low humidity.