Nobody could have seen this coming.
Even him. Dick.
There was thick smoke regardless of which direction he drove, since it seemed to be coming from the side. Was he supposed to just stop and wait it out?
Along I-35 in the Flint Hills, which will at times be burnt off, either on purpose or from lightning or accidentally starting a grass fire, they have signs warning you to not drive INTO the smoke.
Grass fires are part of the ecology of the prairie, and it can be really pretty. But terrifying when whipped up by high winds and uncontrolled.
When I was in elementary school I was taught some sort of saying that I think applies to this situation. I have sadly forgotten it though… /s.
My favorite prayer:
“God help us. HOLY FUCK!!!”
I’m getting a real lookie-loo vibe here.
I dunno, maybe not drive into the smoke while recording it for a Twitter moment in the first place?
I had a similar experience on I-5 north of “The Grapevine” in California when the fires were crossing the highway. Many folks pulled over and stopped, but it was amazing how many folks simply kept going right into the smoke even at medium speeds.
To be fair to the guy, there were dozens if not hundreds of individual spot fires all over the area that day. You could easily be driving toward one fire while in the process of driving away from another.
I guess these kinds of “suburban neighborhoods destroyed by fire” events will become increasingly common. I remember reading about the Santa Rosa, CA fire from a few years back. I had stopped to eat there for lunch while driving up 101. It was a perfectly flat, non-mountainous generic suburb the could’ve been transplanted to anywhere in the country.
And (edit) a year or two later that whole neighborhood got destroyed. I still haven’t words for this. Like literally anytime there’s a climate change “inspired” drought followed by a windy afternoon, happy American suburbia will burn.
There were reported 80 mph winds. Walking 2 blocks won’t save you.
“Why the heck he was driving toward the fire in the first place isn’t clear.”
It’s 100% clear. He’s talking to people on a live stream or something. Risking his life for clicks. Idiocracy in the flesh.
This sort of thing is drilled into Australians, especially after Black Saturday.
We have levels of fire danger, depending on temperature, winds, amount of combustible material, that sort of thing. After Black Saturday we had to add a new level. Above Extreme danger, there is now Catastrophic.
And there are evacuation warning levels too. From “Be alert” (labeled “Advice”) and “Get what you want to keep into the car” (“Watch and Act”) to “Get out, get out now. Don’t bother packing, just go” (“Emergency Warning”). And above that, there is another level: “It’s too late to leave. Try and find somewhere safe, and pray.”
I have no idea what warnings were in place where this gentleman was, but he was driving in the opposite direction to all the traffic, into the smoke. Even someone who hasn’t live their whole life in a bushfire zone should know that that’s a really, really dumb idea, unless you’re in a fire truck, in which case it’s still a dumb idea, but it’s also your job, so…
Growing up in Kansas there were fires at the tail end of every summer…
Severe, Extreme, Catastropic? Ha, I’d only stop for Apocalyptic danger ratings! /s
(I realize, given the rate of climate change, that we may soon see such ratings)
And, er, about that fire…
And further craziness within the craziness…