Heroic Paradise resident saves couple burned by raging wildfire

Residents at Paradise, California were caught out by the fast-spreading Camp Fire, which barred one couple from escaping, badly burning them while they sought shelter.

According to filmer Travis Wright (seen in still image), he had wanted to evacuate with his neighbours Paul and Suzie Ernest the night of November 8. A caravan of vehicles attempted to flee north, then south but the fire cut off all routes out of the town.

Wright and the Ernests then abandoned their cars and belongings, and attempted to flee on quad bikes via a rocky trail leading a mile away from Wright's house. The three took cover behind a boulder but were separated, being forced to take cover and wait for the fire to pass by.

Wright filmed the carnage during and after and spotted the Ernests silhouetted against the boulder they had sheltered, seen in the video propped up on the right side of the rock.

He said of the harrowing experience: "The fire had surrounded us from all directions. At the end is the boulder where Paul and Suzie were sheltering.

"You can see their silhouettes on the right side of the rock. I quit filming because I was afraid of what I would find when I approached them because they had become silent."

Paul and Suzie Ernest survived the flames, but were badly burned, and were rescued after Wright was able to bring two rescue workers on his quad bike and they were evacuated safely. They are now in hospital care, and reportedly will not be allowed to leave for at least two months.

Later Wright returned and discovered the caravan of fleeing vehicles had been consumed by the fire, with many dying in their cars.