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Helicopter crew saves people, pets on peak during wildfire

In this Nov. 9, 2018 photo from video provided by the Los Angeles Fire Department, LAFD Air Operations pilot David Nordquist records flames approach as he takes off after rescuing three people and two dogs from Castro Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, Calif. The video was recorded as the pilots battled the Woolsey Fire, which was raging through the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu. The crew was making a water drop when it was requested to divert to Castro Peak for the rescue, despite dwindling fuel and flames coming near. (David Nordquist/Los Angeles Fire Department via AP)

LOS ANGELES — Newly released video shows the dramatic moment firefighters rescued three people and two dogs as thick smoke and flames fast approached in Southern California.

The Los Angeles Fire Department released video Tuesday of a helicopter crew rescuing the group from a mountain peak as a wildfire bore down.

The Nov. 9 video was taken as pilots David Nordquist and Joel Smith battled the Woolsey Fire that was raging through the Santa Monica Mountains toward Malibu.

The crew was making a water drop when it was asked to rescue the group. The pilots headed that way despite dwindling fuel.

With smoke darkening the sky, they hunted for a landing spot among antenna towers, service buildings, cars and vegetation.

They finally found a tight spot and saved the people and their pets.

The Associated Press