Driving west on I-40 towards Albuquerque on my way back to Portland for THE FAMILY LAKE documentary, I saw smoke on the horizon and as I approached and passed I saw the flames.
It looked like maybe someone had thrown a cigarette from a car.
After a quick call to 911, I turned around to see if I could help.
A couple in a truck stopped in the median and pulled out a shovel to beat back the flames. Bob and Barbara were the only other people to stop and it seemed a little odd that two vehicles with out of state plates were the only ones to start.
I stomped on the flames in my flip-flops — which are much better for driving than stomping out flames.
After emptying all the fluids I had in my car and body onto the flames, I grabbed my camera for quick snaps while I waited for my feet to cool down some more (proper shoes packed deep in back of car).
After about 30 minutes or so, we had the flames out and were chasing down smoldering spots when a couple of young men in a truck pulled up from the field with heavy blankets and helped us smother the hot spots. Bits of shredded truck tire were the hardest bits to put out and keep out, but we got them.
Fire fighters finally arrived to check and confirm that the fire was out.
This was a little scary after driving through Fort Collins, CO last month and seeing the wildfires there.
Oh my aching feet! Trust me, looks much worse than it hurts.
Here’s the raw, unedited footage I took before (literally) jumping back into the fire.