The El Dorado Hills Fire Department rescued a man who became trapped by fast rising waters in a popular recreation area of  El Dorado Hills early Monday morning. 

Shortly after 3 a.m. Monday multiple units were dispatched to a rural area off of Salmon Falls Road,known as Sweetwater Creek, where an adult male had reportedly become trapped in a tree after fast rising flood waters moved into the area.  The El Dorado Hills Fire Department responded with its Water Rescue Unit 84, Engine 85, Medic 85 and one Battalion Cheif. 


Upon arrival, the rescue team hiked in to the rural area on the Sweetwater Trail to access the trapped victim, while his girlfriend  reportedly waited back near the trail access point along Salmon Falls Road. 

According to the El Dorado Fire Department, the victim was reportedly camping in the area. When heavy rains moved into the region late last night in the first of a series of heavy storms. With the heavy rains the creek rose so rapidly, the victim had to pull himself up into a tree to not be overtaken by the rushing water. 


“We had that pretty decent cell come over about midnight,” said El Dorado Hills Fire Department’s Deputy Chief Dave Brady. “Water came up on both sides of him. It just flooded his campsite. He was able to climb up a tree and hold on.” 

Deputy Chief Dave Brady said the victim had been camping in the area and was trapped in a tree as floodwaters rose around him and soon he was completely surrounded by the waters as the creek expanded. Fortunately, the victim had his cell phone on him and was able to call for help.


It took six swift water rescue swimmers approximately two hours to make a tactical plan and access the victim in the water and secure him with the necessary safety gear. Once the man was equipped with a life jacket and secured with the proper gear, rescuers were able to bring him to the shore in the dense area where heavy rains and poor visibility in the dark made for challenging conditions. 


The victim was able to hike out of the area with firefighters once he was pulled from waters. He was reportedly uninjured in the incident. 


While Monday morning brought a period of blue skies and sunshine, more severe weather is expected to move into the area this afternoon. According to the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service, rainfall will return in the hours after 12 p.m. today and area expected to be heavy at times with the possibility of isolated thunderstorms throughout the afternoon and into the early evening.

A wind advisory remains effective until 4 a.m. Tuesday for several areas in the region, including Sacramento County. South winds ranging from 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected to impact the Southern Sacramento Valley, Carquinez Strait and Delta, Northern San Joaquin Valley, and other regions.

Residents are urged to exercise caution, particularly while driving, as the gusty winds may pose hazards, especially for high-profile vehicles and heavy rains are expected to produce roadway flooding in some areas, increasing the rise of hydroplaning for motorists. The wet weather is expected to to remain in the area until Wednesday.

Video and photos courtesy of El Dorado Hills Fire.