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Woman captures terrifying moment driver starts forest fire with lit cigarette butt: 'Why are people still being so careless?'

"I keep a half full water bottle in my car to put butts in for this exact reason."

"I keep a half full water bottle in my car to put butts in for this exact reason."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Smokey Bear is right: Only you can prevent wildfires. His words are more than just a timeless message; they're a reminder to be environmentally responsible. Unfortunately, not everyone listens. A viral video shows how one driver's careless action resulted in huge consequences.

Rolanda (@rolandaincanada) shared a frightening video on TikTok after a truck driver's discarded cigarette started a roadside fire.

"Passed a truck who threw a butt out the window … started a fire right before our eyes," Rolanda wrote.

@rolandaincanada #wildfire #forestfire #summertime ♬ original sound - rolanda

The video captures the growing fire, with smoke and flames eventually consuming trees, bushes, and a significant amount of land. Rolanda shared an update in the comments five days after posting the video, saying: "I checked this morning. It's out. Thank God."

While the fire was eventually contained, a large amount of damage was done. It's extremely unfortunate, as human-caused wildfires, like the one Rolanda shared, are entirely preventable.

According to the Western Fire Chiefs Association, "Humans cause nearly 90% of wildfires in the United States via discarded cigarettes, unattended campfires, burning debris, or through equipment malfunctions." 

With human activity as a primary cause of wildfires, it's crucial to adopt responsible habits, like properly disposing of cigarette butts, matches, and other smoking materials. Ensure that campfires are completely extinguished before leaving the area, and avoid burning debris on windy days. These seemingly small actions significantly reduce wildfire risk and serve to protect you, others, and the environment.

Practicing these habits is a part of developing climate consciousness — an awareness of the planet and our relationship with it. 

The commenters on the video expressed disappointment in the driver's thoughtless behavior and thanked Rolanda for reporting the active fire immediately.

"I keep a half full water bottle in my car to put butts in for this exact reason," one user said. "It baffles me how environmentally unaware some people are."

Another asked, "Why are people still being so careless of nature[?]"

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