By Joe Davies For Mailonline
Published: 09:06 BST, 15 October 2020 | Updated: 13:20 BST, 15 October 2020
An owl caught a lift in a helicopter mid-flight to escape the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest, California.
The owl entered the aircraft at around 12.30pm on Sunday in Madera County.
The bird squeezed through a a small 16 inch by 16 inch window of the UH-1 Huey Helicopter piloted by Sky Aviation's Dan Alpiner.
It sat with him for several water drops as its home burnt below, before flying away to safety after about ten minutes.
An owl caught a lift in a helicopter mid-flight to escape the Creek Fire in Madera County, California
Firefighters took pictures of the bird after it boarded the UH-1 Huey Helicopter (pictured) piloted by Sky Aviation's Dan Alpiner
A photo shows the owl perched on a seat inside the helicopter, but Alpiner was only able to get one shot of the bird because 'it’s not easy to fly a mission and be a photographer at the same time'.
He told KMPH: 'It kind of spooked me for a second there and we kind of locked eyes and the thing looked around and was chill.
'And then I was like, "OK then, you are going to work with me".'
American Helicopter Flight instructor Matthew Dowdy said the the owl and the helicopter must have been traveling at the same speed for the bird to land safely in the aircraft.