A selfless volunteer animal rescue pilot has bravely rescued two French Bulldog puppies from an area set to be ravaged by raging wildfires.
With the wildfires raging across southern California, Jerry Phan, a pilot volunteering for animal rescue charity Pilots’n’Paws, undertook a special mission to fly the two adorable little pups out of the danger zone.
Sadly, the little dogs’ mother and some of their litter-mates had died in the fire but volunteers had managed to scoop up the two five-day-old pups.
“Eyes have not opened yet and [they] need to be tube fed,” Jerry wrote on Facebook.
“I named these girls Salt and Pepper,” Jerry said, as a tribute to the Eighties rap duo.
“The white one was in critical condition,” he added, but said luckily he had been able to fly fast enough to make it and the resting in an incubator.
Jerry explained that he had flown his Cessna FA152 “Aerobat” through clouds of thick smoke to ferry the pups to safety: “Flew under and through some smoke to clear blue skies and finally reached an airfield in a farming community where they will be taken care of,” he said.
They’ll eventually be moved to a veterinary facility in northern California, and eventually be found new homes.
One of the little Frenchies insisted on sleeping on Jerry’s tummy throughout the flight.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect across the western Los Angeles area as firefighters continue to battle a 1,325-acre wildfire near the exclusive Pacific Palisades district.
The origin of the fire is said to be “suspicious” and the authorities have launched a manhunt for the person responsible for starting the blaze.
Crews responded to reports of a fire in remote wilderness in the area at around 10pm on Friday, and by the time they arrived the fire was covering an area of some 15 acres.
By the following afternoon, firefighters say, they were dealing with a major flare-up that was raging out of control.
An evacuation centre for large animals has been established at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, while the Los Angeles County animal shelter was operating as a refuge for smaller pets.
As an extreme drought worsens across much of the state, 2021 is shaping up to be potentially the worst fire season yet.
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