Wildfire spreads about like you’d expect on YouTube

The deadly fires east of Austin, Texas, have drawn worldwide attention thanks to amateur videos on YouTube.

Mar 13, 2019, 4:54 am*



Fruzsina Eördögh

As firefighters wage battle with the Bastrop wildfire in Texas, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are tuning in on YouTube to monitor their efforts and view footage of the devastation.

The fire, located outside of Austin, Texas, has consumed 1,400 homes and claimed two lives.

Yesterday, the Texas Parks Wildlife’s video, “See how fast wildfire spreads,” topped YouTube’s News & Politics section with 200,000 views.

Less than a minute long, the video shows the fire spreading across eight trees with alarming speed.

Wrote mcbrewsky78957 on a comment on the video:

“I’ve witnessed firsthand how fast a wildland fire spreads. 20 years ago, I had to take to my shelter (really just an aluminized blanket), along with the other members of my “hotshot” crew. If that video looks “slow” to you, I would strongly advise you to NOT experiment with outrunning it next time one occurs. Fire spreads UPHILL even faster, by the way.”

Commented rsshel:

“It makes me feel sick to watch the fire burn the park–I spent such lovely times there–and the loss of people’s homes and belongings is such a tragedy.”

The  Texas Parks wildfire video was also featured on prominent YouTube personality sxephil’s “Stuff Phil Likes Playlist.”

YouTube compiled a playlist of the first 10 amateur Bastrop wildfire videos, one of which has been viewed more than a 100,000 times.

To date, there are more than 600 videos on YouTube related to the Bastrop wildfire—news clips, amateur footage, or response videos like uspimpclub’s, who argues that God is not judging the United States by sending this wildfire.

The Austin Humane Society, which is rescuing pets left behind by their owners during the evacuation, has also uploaded two videos of their efforts, including an extended version:

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2011, 4:32 pm