This annual Labor Day weekend outing for one family became dangerous soon after it started.
Joe Ebright and his two sons were rescued on their camping trip from a California wildfire.
It was not clear exactly how major and threatening it was until his family was out of harm’s way.
The father of the two teens said on Wednesday that he knew the out-of-control Creek Fire was big and coming close.
“Where we were at … we had no idea how big the fire was or how much was going on down here to help organize rescues and how many people were stranded,” he said from his home in Clovis, California.
Early Friday night the Creek Fire erupted, and by Wednesday morning it had consumed more than 163,000 acres with no containment, authorities said.
“The smoke was so thick we knew we needed to get out of there because we didn’t know where the fire was,” Ebright said. “But we had no idea of its size or its exact location.”
Hundreds of other trapped campers were rescued along with the Ebright and his sons.
As of Thursday all of California’s national parks have been temporarily closed.