Shows just how fast fires can get out of control

A number of people sent me the link to this video clip.  (Thanks, all of you.)  It shows a camp fire (perhaps a portable barbecue grill) that got out of hand.  It happened last weekend in Poland, or so I’m told.

Yep.  Take strong wind, add even a small fire, and a single blown coal or burning twig can cause disaster, particularly if nearby trees and/or brush are dry, or burn easily.  That took no more than 30 seconds from small campfire to major conflagration.

Folks, if you build camp fires outdoors, please, please be careful.  I’ve been in or near wildfires on several occasions in my old African stamping grounds.  They’re no fun at all.  Even if you escape them, many animals can’t.  When you see them, unable to flee from you because of their burns and other injuries, helpless, in agony, just waiting to die or be killed by predators (because they can’t do anything else) . . . it’s a horrifying sight.



  1. That's pretty scary. If somebody downwind was as close as those folks were that could have ended up much worse.

  2. Something we in dry summer states deal with all the time. Wind plus dry grass is the worst. Everyone in our area is hyper aware, and we generally can allow Fourth of July fireworks here without too much destruction.

  3. Conifers go up really really quickly. I have seen cedar trees completely burn all their needles off in under 30 seconds. Just a "POOF" and they are gone.

    That looks like a couple conifer trees of some type.

  4. I have known a forest firefighter or two to carry .22 pistols to dispatch the poor animals. It's all that can be done for them.

  5. Some of our worse fire conditions are in the spring after the snow melts but before things green up. It's a great time of year to do brush cleanup and the like. It never fails though that on a very dry windy day some dullard decides to burn a ditch or a brush pile and gets a full blown brush fire going. Ironically as dry as the vegetation may be, the ground itself having just thawed is beyond muddy. There's just no bottom to it. The VFD brush trucks end up buried to the axles a few yards from the nearest road. You're left sending in guys on foot or ATVs with weed sprayer tanks.

    Unless the weather is perfect and I've got help on hand I won't burn brush piles or ditches at that time of year. I'll wait until a light snow or damp weather to burn my brush piles. We also have to be very careful about burning our trash in dry conditions too. Put screens on the tops of the barrels and watch them very closely. If the conditions are iffy it'll wait a day or two.

  6. When I was in Arizona, the local fire department tried to demonstrate how quickly a cigarette butt thrown from a car window could start a grass fire. True to form, a butt thrown into dry grass started a blaze. There was much cussing and running about when the wind 'unexpectedly' grabbed the fire and tried to spread it. I'm told they no longer do such demonstrations.

  7. This is why every time I read some Lefty imbecile wringing his (her) hands over Kent State I want to strangle the little idiot. The day before the National Guard was called in the "protesters" on campus had set fire to the ROTC building and then interfered with firefighters on the scene.

    Think about a building sized fire, and how fast it could become a town sized fire. That protest escalated to the level of lethal force, BEFORE the Guard arrived. In fact, that escalation was why it was vitally necessary to shut the"protest" down, pronto.

    Doubtless the idiot who set that fore only thought of it in terms of political symbolism. Doubtless, if it had run rampant and turned half the town population into Long Pig, her would have been horrified.

    He should still have been imprisoned.

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