"Jesus. Please, God, help us": Footage shows father and son making dramatic escape through deadly forest fire
70-year-old Charlie Bilton and his son Justin were forced to turn back after the fallen tree blocked the road and managed to escape the fire by taking a boat across Lake McDonald
A terrifying video released recently on social media has captured the horrifying moments when a father and his son who were caught in a raging forest fire tried to drive through the blaze.
70-year-old Charlie Bilton and his son Justin Bilton were reportedly backpacking through Wyoming and Montana last week when the incident occurred. They had set up camp at Glacier National Park on August 12 for their final stop when a lightning storm struck and started a fire. The two had safely driven down the road a few hours earlier to get into the park, however, they were now trapped as the road which was their only way out was surrounded by the fire.
The fire reportedly grew bigger and turned into the Howe Ridge Fire which has scorched thousands of acres of land across Lake McDonald, according to the Daily Mail.
As the blaze was growing in size, the pair decided that they needed to make a quick getaway if they wanted to save their lives. They then started driving their rental car back on the road they took hours ago but they soon found themselves amid bursting flames with burning trees falling all around them.
Justin can be heard panicking in the video, afraid that a tree might fall on them, while his father can be heard speaking in a steady voice, trying to calm his son's nerves.
"I think we can drive through this," Charlie can be heard saying in the video. While Justin asks: "Dad, what if the car blows up?"
Charlie then responds with: "Then we're dead. Just keep driving. Not too fast, we'll be okay."
Justin becomes even more concerned when the visibility becomes worse and embers begin to hit the windshield of the car.
"The car is heating up, it's gonna explode," Justin can be heard telling his father. "Jesus. Please, God, help us."
After the duo escaped from the fire safely, Justin wrote a Facebook post detailing the event.
Justin said that, on their way back through the fire, they came across a downed tree which was also on fire and that his dad suggested that they use fire-proof gloves to move the tree out of the way.
"When my dad decided he was going to get out to move the burning tree I was most scared because I didn't think I could stop the stubborn old man! He's [definitely] cool under pressure," Justin wrote on Facebook.
The pair ultimately had to reverse through the fire and get back to the trailhead and down to the lake. They eventually abandoned their car, which had caught fire.
Justin and Charlie were eventually rescued by two park employees, tour boat captain Jess Kimball and an intern ranger named Dave, according to KRTV. The group used a boat to get away from the blaze.
"We looked back and just saw the whole lakeshore where we had been maybe 10 to 15 minutes before just completely go up in flames," Justin told WHDH. "I do think it was some kind of higher power looking out for us. It seems like it wasn't our time to go," he added.