Odessa, Texas has been featured in pop culture landmarks like No Country For Old Men as the quintessential middle of nowhere town. It’s so isolated that when an estimated 100,000 tyres caught fire on Sunday, the closest fire hydrant was about 6.5km away. That means that a lot of toxic smoke filled the air and there was plenty of time to shoot some jaw-dropping drone footage.
“It’s still burning. It was way beyond our means to put it out last night,” West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Ellis told a local news outlet on Monday. The fire reportedly started around 3:00PM on Sunday afternoon local time and raged throughout the night. Because of the lack of fire hydrants, local firefighters found themselves in a losing cycle of bringing in fire trucks, spraying their water resources and going back for more. When they returned, the fire had just grown larger.
The frustrated volunteers simply didn’t have the resources to stop it. “We haven’t even been able to get down in the pit where it started because it’s so hot you can’t get down in that pit,” Ellis said. “The rubber just stays hot and it will adhere to your boots and the bunker gear.” Early on Monday, the EPA was called in to provide additional resources.
Local residents were warned to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Several roads were shut down while black smoke billowed for kilometres. Burning tyres produce hundreds of toxic pollutants and inhaling the smoke can cause numerous adverse health effects.
According to an update from local outlet NewsWest9, authorities believed the fire had been contained around 8:00PM on Monday evening and firefighters were still targeting hot spots. No injuries have been reported and the cause of the blaze is still unknown.
Check out the incredible footage below and imagine your own Herzogian voice-over.