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)

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.”Bay Area News

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Most Read