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LAFD pilots rescue three people and two dogs from burning hilltop as Woolsey fire closes in

Pilots Joel Smith, left and David Nordquist, right, stand in front of their helicopter at the Los Angeles Fire Department air operations base in Van Nuys. (Emily Dugdale/KPCC)
Pilots Joel Smith, left and David Nordquist, right, stand in front of their helicopter at the Los Angeles Fire Department air operations base in Van Nuys. (Emily Dugdale/KPCC)
Emily Dugdale/KPCC

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Pilots Joel Smith and David Nordquist were running low on fuel and didn’t have the manpower to hoist the people below to safety. So they made a risky choice and landed their helicopter through the thick smoke on to a narrow strip of burning ridgeline. Helmet camera footage captured the moment.