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Wildfires prevent rescuers from saving victims in California

California wildfires (Photo Credit:  BBC News)
California wildfires (Photo Credit: BBC News)

Many persons were reportedly trapped in California wildfires across over 73,000 acres which has prevented rescuers struggling to safe their lives, BBC News reported.

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Smoke from the Creek Fire, near the city of Fresno, prevented helicopters from landing near a resort overnight where a group of hikers are sheltering.

In total, fires have burned through a record two million acres – more than the size of Delaware – in recent weeks.

California is currently experiencing an unprecedented heatwave.

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Los Angeles County reported its highest-ever temperature of 49.4C (121F) on Sunday. Temperatures have dropped since then, but high winds are expected to fan the flames until Wednesday.

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More than 14,000 firefighters are battling 25 major blazes in California.

The Creek Fire is the largest one. It broke out in the Sierra Mountains – a major tourism spot – north-east of Fresno on Friday.

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The fire has burned more than 135,000 acres and none of it has been contained, Fresno fire chief Tony Escobedo said late on Monday.

The Creek Fire has forced the group of about 50 hikers to shelter at the Vermilion Valley Resort since Sunday night. They are not in immediate danger, officials say.

An attempt to airlift them to safety was suspended overnight.

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“The difficulty of the helicopters trying to get through the smoke has proven a challenge during the day,” fire chief Escobedo told reporters.

He said rescuers would try again to reach them later on Tuesday. Mr Escobedo added that his teams had reports of at least 50 people or more trapped at several locations, including nearby Lake Edison and China Peak.

At the weekend, 200 hikers were rescued from the area. The fire has devastated the small town of Big Creek, destroying at least two dozen homes, the Los Angeles Times reports

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