Escape From Mammoth Pool The true story of how 242 people—and 16 dogs—survived one of the fastest-moving, most intense wildfires in California history, as the Creek Fire closed in on their campground at Mammoth Pool Reservoir over Labor Day weekend 2020. Produced by Valley Public Radio, NPR for Central California.
Escape From Mammoth Pool

Escape From Mammoth Pool

From Valley Public Radio

The true story of how 242 people—and 16 dogs—survived one of the fastest-moving, most intense wildfires in California history, as the Creek Fire closed in on their campground at Mammoth Pool Reservoir over Labor Day weekend 2020. Produced by Valley Public Radio, NPR for Central California.

Most Recent Episodes

Bonus: Escape From Mammoth Pool on 'Science Friday'

We're very excited to announce that we have shared another adaptation of this series with Science Friday , the national radio show produced by WNYC Studios. As " the source for entertaining and educational stories about science, technology, and other cool stuff," t hey were interested in the wildfire outlook for California given climate change and the vulnerable state of our forests, and, more specifically, the effects of all of this on people. The segment features excerpts from the original

Part 7: Climate Change, Fire Suppression, And The Growing Human Toll Of Wildfires

The emergency rescues at Mammoth Pool Reservoir last September didn't happen in a vacuum. Wildfires in the West are getting bigger, faster, and more intense, and "megafires" like the Creek Fire, driven largely by climate change and a century of fire suppression, are putting people and infrastructure more at risk than ever. This conversation features CalFire/Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Urias; Province Ecologist Marc Meyer and Research Economist Jose Sanchez with the U.S. Forest

Part 7: Climate Change, Fire Suppression, And The Growing Human Toll Of Wildfires

Part 6: Could This Happen To Me?

Last September, just days after the Mammoth Pool Reservoir rescues, thick orange smoke and falling ash from a different wildfire forced Jack Haskel to cut short a backpacking trip in Northern California. A few years before that, he had to evacuate a trail under similar circumstances in Oregon. But not only is Jack a backpacker, he's also a Trail Information Manager with the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and he is increasingly finding himself spending his summer days fielding phone calls from

Bonus: Hear Us On KQED's 'The California Report Magazine'

Great news: our podcast has been featured on The California Report Magazine , a weekly radio show and podcast produced by our friends at KQED. Every week, they share creative, sound-rich stories that take listeners on "road trip for the ears and the imagination," and today they've dedicated an entire episode to Escape From Mammoth Pool . The episode features excerpts from our original series, as well as a conversation between host Sasha Khokha and our own Kerry Klein. Head on over and take a

Part 5: A Deeper Dive With 'Chief Joe' Rosamond

In an earlier episode of this podcast, Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Rosamond, a helicopter pilot with the California Army National Guard, went so far as to say that flying the rescue mission at Mammoth Pool Reservoir "was the most dangerous, most risky thing I've ever gotten myself into." What you haven't heard is just how harrowing those flights were—particularly the one in which Rosamond and his crew loaded in three times as many people as the helicopter is rated for. In this extended

Part 4: The View A Year Later

In the first three episodes of this series, we shared stories from the panicked evacuations and dramatic rescues of hundreds of people trapped at Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada. They'd fled there over Labor Day weekend 2020, as the Creek Fire consumed their campground and closed in on the lake. This week, we step back from that narrative with an epilogue. In a conversation with KVPR colleague Kathleen Schock, Kerry Klein checks in on these three families a year later: How have they

Part 3: Heroes, Big And Small

There are many ways to be heroic. Some of them are death-defying—like rushing into a burning forest to save hundreds of strangers—but some aren't, and even talking someone down from a panic attack, or offering a ride in the middle of a wildfire, can pay dividends in serendipitous, even life-saving ways. And so, even though by many measures, what happened at Mammoth Pool Reservoir over Labor Day weekend 2020 was a tragedy, the high-stakes situation also revealed some of the best of human nature.

Part 2: The 10-Minute Drive That Lasted An Eternity

In last week's episode, campers were in the throes of panic and chaos as they prepared to evacuate their campground. This week, they navigate two miles down a narrow, winding dirt road, its perils made all the more dangerous by the oppressive smoke and encroaching flames from the Creek Fire. Credits: Reporter/Producer: Kerry Klein Editor: Alice Daniel Web support: Alex Burke Music: written by Kevin MacLeod (songs: Acid Trumpet, Beauty Flow, Half Mystery, Rising Tide, Unanswered Questions, Winter

Part 1: 'You Could See The Fire, You Could See The Flames'

For 17 years, Karla Carcamo's family had a Labor Day tradition: they gathered all their cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, family friends, and even family members of family friends, and spent the long weekend camping at Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra Foothills. Alex Tettamanti and her husband Raul Reyes were regulars at Mammoth Pool, too – the off-roading club they belong to with Vicky Castro and her husband Rolando Rosales also visited the reservoir every Labor Day to play with

Introducing: Escape From Mammoth Pool

The true story of how 242 people—and 16 dogs—survived one of the fastest-moving, most intense wildfires in California history, as the Creek Fire closed in on their campground at Mammoth Pool Reservoir over Labor Day weekend 2020. Check out the trailer for Escape From Mammoth Pool , a new limited-run podcast produced by Valley Public Radio for the one-year anniversary of the start of the Creek Fire. Coming soon to KVPR.org, and wherever you get your podcasts.