He was alone and miles from civilization.
There’s no such thing as a good car fire, but as far as bad car fires go, this one ranks near the top. It’s wasn’t a massive fireball in the middle of a city, and it didn’t ignite any homes or forests thanks to a herculean effort from this Jeep's owner, which we'll discuss in a bit. It wasn’t a bad fire in terms of destruction, but rather, desolation – this Wranger Unlimited Rubicon burned to the ground deep into a desert, literally 30 miles from the nearest major road. Yikes.
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The clip comes from a person named Casey, who has a YouTube channel called Coyote Works and we highly recommend watching the whole video. For the record, yes, Casey is just fine after the ordeal and did manage to make it out of the desert without encountering wild animals or succumbing to cannibalism to survive. In fact, he seems remarkably calm in the clip considering he’s watching his only means of transportation going up in smoke with no hope of rescue or even a fire truck to douse the flames. Never mind that he's in an empty desert. With night approaching. And much of his gear burning in the Jeep. Miles away from civilization. Alone. It could almost be an episode of Survivorman, except there was no camera crew nearby to dive in for a rescue, and that fire was very, very real.
Fortunately, Casey is a camper and survivalist, which is the focus of his YouTube channel. Yeah, a vehicle fire in desert sucks, but he was probably the most prepared person on the planet to deal with it. According to the video, he was exploring areas in the southern Oregon desert at the end of August and searching for a good spot to camp before nightfall. He shut the Jeep off at a fence gate, got out, and noticed smoke coming from under the hood. A fire extinguisher and three gallons of water proved useless in dousing the flames, so he grabbed some emergency supplies from the back in the limited time he had, then watched the Jeep burn to the ground.
That is, once he also made sure the flaming Jeep wouldn't also start a massive range fire. The area was filled with dry grass and ground cover, which could've spelled disaster on an immense scale had the flames whipped up into a firestorm. A shovel was among the supplies Casey grabbed; he created a makeshift fireline around the burning Jeep then stood watch in the area and went after small pop-up fires with sand and dirt, by hand with his shovel. We weren't kidding when we said herculean. This guy deserves a medal, or at the very least, a new Wranger.
The cause of the fire isn’t known. Casey said it appeared to start between the engine and the firewall. There was a recall for 2010 Wranglers with automatic transmissions for the potential of debris getting caught underneath near the exhaust, possibly causing a fire. It’s not clear if this Rubicon would’ve been part of the recall, but watching the video (and others on his channel) this Jeep definitely traveled off-road. And there does seem to be fire cooking underneath in that relative area early on.
We’re super glad Casey wasn’t hurt, and we’re also beyond impressed that he had the presence of mind to not just grab survival gear, but also a shovel to help keep the fire contained. Here’s hoping his future adventures are a bit less adventurous.
Source: Coyote Works via YouTube