While an Owl Flies Inside the Helicopter, the Pilot Fights a Huge Wildfire

The massive Creek Fire has been combated with the help of helicopter pilot Dan Alpiner. Alpiner poured bucket after bucket of water on the fire the other day. He was suddenly reminded of whose environment he and his fellow firefighters have been working so hard to protect.

 Alpiner was about 200 feet above the ground .Prepared to squirt water on the flames when he noticed a rapid movement from an open side window.

“I caught this flutter out of the corner of my eye,” Alpiner said. A little worried, I turned to look, and our eyes met.

Unexpectedly, a wild owl had flown onto the aircraft and was now resting on the seat next to Alpiner.

Firefighters Rescue Great Horned Owl from Ashes of California Wildfire |  Audubon

He “just kind of chilled out,” said Alpiner. “I was actually stunned. He was so friendly that it felt like all he wanted to do was say hello. The Alpiner went on as he always did, saying to his new copilot, “Well, let’s go do some work here, buddy,” and carrying on with the task of putting out the fire.

The owl stuck at Alpiner’s side through two refills and drops. He soared through the window and landed not far from the location of the chopper when he had first arrived.

Firefighters rescued an injured (and highly photogenic) owl from ashes of  California blaze - The Washington Post

Alpiner doesn’t yet know how to make sense of that extraordinary encounter, but he won’t soon forget it.

It’s still a challenge for me to comprehend. Simply incredible, ” Alpiner remarked. The experience was one of a lifetime.

Rate article