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Backpackers Saved From Creek Fire By Dramatic Helicopter Rescue

Flames incinerate a forest as the Creek Fire rapidly expands (David McNew/Getty Images)
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When backpackers Adrienne Chenette and a friend, Kathryn Palmer, set off from Tuolumne Meadows they had plans to summit Mt. Whitney.

On day seven of their trip, when they noticed smoke rising high above the mountains, they knew they had to evacuate.

Nine miles later, with eyes burning and lungs inundated with falling ash, they arrived at their emergency exit.

But soon they found out they, and 50 other backpackers, locals, and law enforcement were trapped. The fire had encircled them. And the only way they could be saved was by helicopter.

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The problem? The smoke was too thick and the weather too erratic for the pilots to land.


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