Mill Valley police officers patrol a gas station in Santa Rosa on Monday, while multiple wildfires continued to rage in the North Bay. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

CHP aircraft rescue 44 people, 5 dogs and 1 cat in North Bay fires

California Highway Patrol aircraft have rescued a total of 44 people, as well as five dogs and a cat, while responding to the North Bay fires that have killed at least nine people and destroyed more than 1,500 structures.

Rescue operations have slowed significantly, however, with 42 of those occurring before Monday afternoon.

SEE RELATED: At least 15 dead in Northern California fires, Trump pledges federal support

“It drastically dropped,” Flight Officer Paramedic Shawn Bouyea said Tuesday.

Not all of those rescues were done by pulling people up into the air, however, especially in cases that involved pets.

“We went skids down, we actually landed,” Bouyea said. “A lot of people won’t leave without their animals.”

They also used the public address system on their aircraft to warn residents of the need to evacuate, and in some cases landed near homes under threat from the fire to provide notification.

“A lot of people didn’t know they needed to be evacuated, so we landed and expedited the process for them,” Bouyea said.

The CHP performed that service for hundreds of individuals, but there’s no official count, according to Bouyea.

The CHP’s Golden Gate Division has two helicopters and an airplane on standby for general law enforcement duty, but they’re still available for rescues. Anybody still in need of rescue as the fires continue to burn is advised to wave their arms at aircraft overhead.

“Make yourself known,” Bouyea said. “A lot of people didn’t think the helicopter was looking for them.”

Just Posted

ACLU warns BART panhandling and busking ban is ‘unconstitutional’ — and could lead to lawsuits

Elected BART leaders are considering banning panhandling and busking — playing music… Continue reading

Jeff Adachi’s family disputes finding that public defender died of toxic drug mix

Independent expert concludes manner of death was natural

S.F. mural debate follows students during first week of school

Classes started Monday at George Washington High School, but the fallout of… Continue reading

New Chinatown station to be named for Rose Pak, but opponents vow to keep fighting

Debate over power broker’s legacy exposes deep rifts in Chinese community

City shutting down long-term mental health beds to expand hospital Navigation Center

The City is preparing to close dozens of permanent, residential treatment beds… Continue reading

Most Read