3 Firefighters Hospitalized With Injuries From Battling Wildfire In California
Three firefighters battling the growing Dolan Fire in central California on Tuesday were injured and airlifted to a hospital, where one remains in critical condition.
The U.S. Forest Service said 14 firefighters deployed portable fire shelters — a last resort survival tactic — around 8:30 a.m. as fire overtook their station at the Los Padres National Forest.
Nacimiento Station was destroyed, and firefighters suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
Three firefighters were transported to Community Regional Hospital in Fresno, where a hospital spokesperson confirmed one injury is considered critical and two are categorized as "fair."
The Forest Service described the situation as "evolving," and said it will share additional information as it is confirmed.
"We have procedures in place for emergencies such as this and are being assisted by local officials as part of that plan," it said in a statement.
According to the Forest Service, more than 800 personnel are assigned to help manage the wildfire, which is burning in the Monterey Ranger District of the Los Padres National Forest.
It has burned more than 73,000 acres since Aug. 18, and is 40% contained as of Tuesday evening.
The fire intensified overnight into Tuesday, nearly doubling in size thanks to extreme heat, low humidity and high winds.
Parts of Monterey County are under evacuation orders and warnings, and Los Padres is one of eight national forests that the Forest Service ordered temporarily closed beginning Monday night, citing "the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions."
Multiple large fires are lashing the state amid a wildfire season that is proving particularly destructive.
As of Tuesday, according to CAL Fire, there are 14,000 firefighters battling 25 wildfires that have collectively burned more than 1.8 million acres of land.
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