Stunning video footage uploaded to YouTube shows what firefighter helicopter pilots occasionally have do to save other people's lives.
As seen on the video, Castro Peak was engulfed in a massive column of thick smoke. As the pilots approached the area of emergency, visibility was reduced to the absolute minimum, which immediately became a problem, as the peak's top was filled with buildings, vehicles and high antennas. A single mistake would have led to a catastrophic crash.
Without a hoist mechanism to retrieve people while remaining airborne, the pilots had to manage a tricky landing to pick up several evacuees, before taking off back into the sky.