A pregnant woman who was driving to her parents’ home last week suddenly went into labor, and decided to take a shortcut through the Plumas County National Forest in northern California, despite being unfamiliar with the route.
While driving along backroads, 35-year-old Amber Pangborn then lost cell service, and ran out of gas.
Inside her car, Pangborn then gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Marissa.
The pair was stranded for three days and attracted the attention of bees and mosquitos. Pangborn was stung a number of times as she tried to shield her daughter.
Amber and her daughter survived on “a bottle of water, a can of soda, and three apples she had in her car,” according to KCRA, an NBC news affiliate.
By Saturday, desperate for help, Pangborn tried to start a small signal fire, but instead, “the whole side of the mountain caught on fire,” she told the station. “I was looking at Marissa and was like, ‘I think Mommy just started a forest fire.’”
Within the next few hours, Pangborn and her daughter were rescued by U.S. Forest Service officials, and were taken for medical evaluation. Pangborn has been released, and is expected to be reunited with her daughter shortly.