I’m flying into Los Angeles in a few hours, and I’m going to give Hollywood the big middle finger as I drive by, because there is absolutely NOTHING they could produce that could compare to this.
I don’t know who this dude is, but he captured un-f**king-believable high-definition footage of his escape from Fort McMurray’s Beacon Hill with his front and rear facing dash cams.
Instead of Tweeting each link separately I thought it would be easier to aggregate them all here. To the guy who posted these on YouTube: I salute you.
“…let y’all know I don’t know if I’ll be in tonight…”
His employer should probably give him a raise and promotion, given he prioritized apologetically calling in to let them know he’d probably miss his shift tonight, given he might be ABOUT TO DIE. Which he doesn’t say, of course, because he may have one of the coolest heads under pressure on the face of the earth.
The guy on the motorcycle eventually breaks rank and takes off, probably because he appears to start on fire, but oh my god I cannot believe how POLITE everyone is, dutifully lining up and filing out of Beacon Hill. I’ve seen ruder, more panicky lineups at Walmart.
Even as shit gets really real and the flames are inches away from incinerating them, these Fort Mac residents STILL remain orderly, finally moving into two lanes, but politely zipper-merging to keep things moving.
“No, I insist, after you.”
I really hope every Saskatchewanian who has ever refused to let another vehicle merge on our freeways (aka 75 per cent of us) is watching this.
I simply do not understand how nobody died. I really don’t. Somebody page the Pope, because this was nothing short of a miracle.
By this point in these videos I’m holding my breath, nauseated and heartbroken for the folks in these vehicles. I’m thinking about all the little kids in the backseats, and how they were feeling… what their poor parents must have been going through, trying to reassure the little ones, knowing they’d just lost their home, and not knowing if they were going to make it out alive.
Right at the end of 4 of 6 you saw that residents had forged a road over what appears to be a park – but the vehicles are still single file, and are still more or less politely merging appropriately. Unreal.
Right at the beginning of 5 of 6, which is literally and figuratively the darkest moment of this whole ordeal, you can see someone has stopped to check the vehicle in the ditch on the right. The human spirit is extraordinary, and I am so proud to call these folks my neighbors.
At 1:15 you can hear, almost feel, the driver exhale a huge sigh of relief. You probably did too.
While behind him, this monstrosity of Mother Nature decimates everything. I believe he drives past the trailer park that was incinerated, presumably not long after that.
You know, I do understand how nobody died that day – Fort Mac residents didn’t just save themselves, they saved each other.
These people – the people of Beacon Hill, and of Fort Mac as a whole – are heroes. I mean let’s face it, Fort Mac has had some shitty press in the past few years, from criticism for many of them choose to earn a living (in the oil sands) to what the once free-flow of high income was doing to the community.
I mentioned in an earlier post that my son was afraid of travelling abroad because of terrorism. I showed him excerpts of these videos, to show him that people are inherently good – they help each other, especially when they need it the most – and that’s why most people live and carry on, even through the most terrifying of circumstances.
To the people of Fort Mac: I’m not going to placate you with platitudes about how it was just “stuff” you lost, but you’re alive, so you should be happy. What happened to you this week is absolute shit, and I’m so sorry it did – you can feel however the f**k you want. I’d be angry, devastated, and probably still hysterical, because I don’t think I would have been able to do what you did so calmly and rationally.
What I will say that while your lives will never be the same again – you’re going to be okay. You are clearly some of the toughest people on the planet, and if this didn’t put Fort Mac down, nothing ever will.