You never quite know what the day is going to hold and sometimes, it can really throw you a curve. That is what happened when Charles and Justin Bilton were enjoying a hike in Glacier National Park in Montana. A wildfire erupted and suddenly, the enjoyable hike through the wilderness took a life-and-death turn.
Justin Bilton shared the experience on Facebook. He said that they “drove through hell” in a rented vehicle after the wildfire swept near to them as they attempted to escape the park.
Video was recorded from behind the wheel and the flames and smoke were too close for comfort. It was even crossing the road as they tried to navigate their way out of the park.
You could hear the panic in Justin’s voice as he screamed: “Daddy, this is insane!” And “Dad, what if the car blows up?”
His father was calm about the situation, responding, “Well, we’re dead. Just keep driving.”
When they first started out on their hike, the Howe Ridge fire was far away and only a few acres wide. Within a few hours, the fire had spread over hundreds of acres and the father and son had to flee for their lives.
“We hiked back to the car to get out where it was parked at the end of a dead road.”
You can see how close the fire was in the video. Jason works at navigating the burning road and smoke and one time asked his father, “What if a tree falls on us?” Within a matter of seconds, it actually happens as a tree falls across their path and they have to stop.
At that point, Charles suggests that they get out of the vehicle and use gloves to move the fallen tree and the video ends.
Ultimately, the pair was successful in moving the tree and they turned back to drive back to the trailhead. They were rescued by two park employees in a boat and they feel that their lives were saved by that heroic action. The rented car was lost in the blaze.
You can watch the video below: