Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday we were on our way home after dropping our grandsons at camp. While we were about 10 miles onto the highway but still about 40 miles from the city the traffic came to a complete stop. Traffic was stopped 3 miles in front of us and 3 miles in back. There were no exits and there were cable barriers on between the highway and the access road. Both sides of the highway and the median were on fire. On one side of the road cars were on fire and exploding and a RV park was on fire on the otherside an entire hillside was on fire & ash & embers were flying back onto the road. The fire departments were all small voulenteer units trying to put it out. The cops did nothing but stand around and watch. I was so upset I wanted to pull off the road onto the access and go away from the fire but the police did nothing to try to help get the traffic out of the area. After sitting in smoke with fire smoldering & blazing on all sides for about an hour we finaly cleared the area. We heard later that aroun 140 acres burned right around the highway. It really gave you a preview of how the local law enforcement would handle things. There was even state troopers there and they were just standing around talking & watching the firefighters work.:xeye:
 

·
Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
Joined
·
68,565 Posts
That's why you carry a set of wire cutters and snip those cables.
Exactly. There are situations where you can either sit, helpless, or you can take action and get out. I keep cutters handy for that exact reason. We have a bunch of those cable barriers here.

I can only imagine how stressful that must have been though. Especially if the fire was threatening the vehicles nearby.
 

·
Deus exsisto laus
Joined
·
3,963 Posts
I have wondered if putting the a/c on recirc ( which I believe seals out the outside air) would have help prevent smoke inhalation. Did you have a chance to try that? What about smoke? I have a wife and one child with asthma, that's why I ask. TP
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The video appears to be from someone at the end of the line it was much worse when we were in it and there was no police flag man they were literaly doing nothing. Also there were actual flames around us when we were in it.
We did have cable cutters but we were so jammed up we could not have gotten off road quick enough before we were caught up in it. Also there were large areas where the drop off was too step to attempt of road on the right side really the only way would have been to cross the median and the cops & fire department were using most of that side for egress. My husband refused to jump the barrier he just could not fathom that anything could happen because the cops & the firemen were there already.
We were lucky is all I can say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
In fairness to the police if the fire was on both sides what exactly were they supposed to do in your view? They are not trained to handle fires so far as I know and telling people to drive through the fire would hardly have gone down well would it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
That's why you carry a set of wire cutters and snip those cables.
My bolt cutters would have been put to use.

Both of my kids have asthma. An hour sitting in smoke could mean weeks of wheezing and coughing. It's why we don't use wood heat; even a little residual smoke in the house causes serious problems.
 

·
Left the building
Joined
·
9,363 Posts
The video appears to be from someone at the end of the line it was much worse when we were in it and there was no police flag man they were literaly doing nothing. Also there were actual flames around us when we were in it.
We did have cable cutters but we were so jammed up we could not have gotten off road quick enough before we were caught up in it. Also there were large areas where the drop off was too step to attempt of road on the right side really the only way would have been to cross the median and the cops & fire department were using most of that side for egress. My husband refused to jump the barrier he just could not fathom that anything could happen because the cops & the firemen were there already.
We were lucky is all I can say.
Ya, they were driving through and the median was already burned. There's also hardly any frontage road out there after you're west of Boerne towards Comfort, so trying to get off 10's not an option. And off the highway is steep in places.
 

·
Pleasantly demented woman
Joined
·
3,760 Posts
Janet, I'm sorry you had to go through this.

I am also kind of wondering what you were thinking the officers should have done. They did not have bunker gear, so they cannot help with the firefighting; it would have meant they would have gotten hurt, and then the issue would have been compounded.

I am betting that if someone had rolled down a window and said they had an asthmatic child in the car, they would have gotten that child away from the area.

My husband is a volunteer firefighter, and frequently they do want LEOs there to provide site control, but they don't want them on the fireground unless they are also firefighters AND in full gear.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nomadjanet

·
Limpin to safety.
Joined
·
7,639 Posts
I just wanted to add that I'm glad you're safe.

We also are going through a drought and everything is cracked earth dry. We've let the trash build up in the burn pile until we get at least a few inches of rain.

Something you probably already know is that fires like that can shift, change directions, and move extremely fast depending on the wind. I'm talking sustained 20mph, no breaks, no slowing down.

Another thing to remember is that it isn't the fire that kills you but the exposure. Smoke, gasses, etc. So even if you are hundreds of yards away, the smoke will travel with the wind.

GJ to the fire fighters. Wild fires often claim the lives of those brave women and men.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,113 Posts
Im glad your safe.

I dont think this would have happened in the UK. The road would have been closed until the fire was under control and dampened down, especially as in parts it was so very close to the road.

We do have voluntary firemen but in the case of a fire like this other counties provide helping cover as well. There would have been about a dozen engines called out to such a fire, maybe more.

They certainly should not have left the traffic sitting in the smoke.

The policeman could have not only closed the road at a safe distance, but those left on the road should have been put in a single file down the center of the road keeping them away from both sides of flames. Once the road was cleared then it would have given the fireman better access to the areas needing attention.

I would write to your local senator (Your MP equivalent) with your concerns and suggestions and see if something could be done. Better planning and cover is obviously needed.


PS: My relative used to be a Station Officer in the UK Fire service.
 

·
17 Oaks Ranch Tx
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
Then you should have been behind me. KEEP you eyes on that cable, its NOT everywhere, its does have openings.

I had been up in Kerr county near Harper picking up some goats for the place and was heading S on I 10 when I saw the smoke and fire(s), its was burning on BOTH sides of I 10 and in the center divider.

There is an underpass that connects E and W sides, but there is NO on/off ramps so you kinda need to know the underpass is there. I hit 4x4 switch in my rig and drove thru the cables (and NO your wire cutter is NOT gonna cut them, they are cable restraints in the events of out of control cars/trucks). I then drove down under I 10, around the fire and back under I 10...I live there and my place was just walking distance S of the fires.

I unloaded my goats and headed over to the fire Command Post to bring them a case of ice water and some other stuff. Just about every FD in Kendall county was there plus they brought in the helicopters with water buckets to dump on the fires.

I believe the LEO's did an excellent job, there are no on/off ramps there, traffic was backed up for miles in both directions. The folks to the S were being directed to take the off ramp there and go under I 10 and get back on. But they could not allow them to take the Ranch Road as that was where they set up the heli pad and where going in to fight the RV park fire.

On the N side there was no place to turn around, no place to go to and while I don't doubt many cars w/o 4x4 could have turned around, it is wide and rough, get stuck there, let the engine idle a bit and you have a car on fire with people in it...its ALL grass, dry grass.

I felt the opened I 10 as fast as they could have, in fact I was surprised just how quick they did get it open. They first had to put out the fires on the sides and center divider, then it was opened.

How did the fire start? Here is the story I got from a LEO:

******* in truck is on way to Fathers Day at Dad’s house, ******* is bringing his BBQ pit, ******* is running late so he FIRES up BBQ pit so the coals will be hot when he gets there = I 10 fire. FYI, some facts I made up, don’t know if he was going to Dad’s house, don’t know if he was running late, dunno if he was a *******, in fact he might have been a NASA rocket scientist, but here I will let you make the call, but the rest of true. State Police tracked him down and he is under arrest.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,048 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think the police should have opened the emergency turn around area that is in the median before the area that was on fire and turned traffic north west away from town. It might have been inconvienant for some people to go 30 miles out of their way to find another route but it would have been safer. I don't expect the police to fight the fire I think they could have done a better job controlling trafic. At the very least they could have kept people from continuing to get on the highway so the jam would have been 2-3 mile instead of 6 or 7 miles.
 

·
17 Oaks Ranch Tx
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
I think the police should have opened the emergency turn around area that is in the median before the area that was on fire and turned traffic north west away from town. It might have been inconvienant for some people to go 30 miles out of their way to find another route but it would have been safer. I don't expect the police to fight the fire I think they could have done a better job controlling trafic. At the very least they could have kept people from continuing to get on the highway so the jam would have been 2-3 mile instead of 6 or 7 miles.
I will bring up that question. I am a Sponsor of the Boerne VFD and I will ask them. Its my guess that the concern was with fire occurring under cars turning around and or getting stuck...just me guess.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top