Terrifying video shows dad and son's near death drive as they try to escape forest fire
Justin Bilton and his 70-year-old father, Charlie Bilton, barely managed to escape a devastating Montana fire and their journey through the flames was caught on camera.
Father and son were camping at Glacier National Park on August 11 when a lightning storm struck and caused the forest to burst into flames, turning into the Howe Ridge Fire.
The video captured by Justin's cellphone is terrifying and it has found its way to Youtube, gathering almost 700,000 views in just three days.
Justin and Charlie were backpacking through Wyoming and Montana, and Glacier National Park was their final stop. Unfortunately, it could've cost them their lives.
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On August 12, they saw the flames consuming the trees and immediately jumped into their rental car, but the fire proved to be a bigger challenge than they had anticipated.
In the video, Charlie can be heard trying to calm his son by talking in a steady, soft and reassuring voice while Justin is terrified behind the wheel.
Charlie believed that they could drive through the flames if they followed the trail but Justin was worried about a possible explosion; at one point, the son revealed that the car was overheating and that it could blow up.
His father kept his cool and told him to keep driving but not too fast. As the video goes on, visibility becomes worse and embers start hitting the windshield, which made Justin ask God for help.
FORCED TO GO BACK
Eventually, they find a fallen a tree in flames that stops them in their tracks. Charlie suggested moving it with fire-proof gloves but they ultimately decided to go back.
In reverse, they drove back to the trailhead and down to the lake, where they were rescued by two park employees, a ranger and a tour boat captain named Jess Kimball.
As Justing and Charlie sailed away, they saw the rental car being consumed by the flames, much like the rest of the forest. As of Sunday, the Howe Ridge Fire has burned over 7,800 acres in the park.
It is one of the most currently active fires but it is yet to reach the same magnitude as the Carr Fire, which has been considered the sixth most destructive fire in California history.