West Michigan Women Survive Harrowing Wildfires [Video]
As the west coast deals with their worst wildfires in modern history, two West Michigan women who were hiking got out in the nick of time.
Jean Reynolds of Grand Haven and Kathy Schipper of Spring Lake were hiking in the Inyo National Forest, just south of Yosemite National Park when the massive Creek Fire threatened the trail they were on.
Along with close to 100 other hikers, they were forced to detour seven miles to a staging area to await evacuation. The fire, unfortunately, had other plans.
High winds blew the flames up, and helicopters were sent to get the hikers out were forced back.
“As we started to head down the trail, it got really smoky and we starting to get covered in ash actually from the smoke (and) fire,” Reynolds told News 8 in a Zoom call Tuesday. “That’s when we knew things were changing rapidly.”
Eventually, the winds died down, allowing Schipper, Reynolds and the other hikers to be flown out to a National Guard base in Fresno.
“There was a moment on the helicopter once we got up and out of there where Kathy and I just looked at each other and our eyes just started raining tears,” Reynolds told WOOD-TV 8 News.
“This puts other things in perspective in terms of how nature can be so powerful and we can be so powerless over it."
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