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Dust-Devil + Tumbleweeds
March 23, 2014 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Tumbleweed Firenado
posted by Confess, Fletch (27 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This truck has a reverse gear, and I think it wise to use it.
posted by Toekneesan at 6:39 PM on March 23


When I lived in California, tumbleweeds were something iconic and a bit humorous from the southwest. Now that I live in New Mexico, I have come to realize tumbleweeds are serious business, burying homes and blocking streets.

On the up-side, tumbleweeds burn fast, should they catch on fire.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:40 PM on March 23


Dust-Devil + Tumbleweeds + Fire + Electric Guitar=~Dante
posted by Toekneesan at 6:44 PM on March 23


\m/
posted by stltony at 6:49 PM on March 23 [7 favorites]


Tumbleweeds are the plant equivalent of tribbles. Fiery tribbles.
posted by arcticseal at 6:52 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


Needs moar sharks.
posted by briank at 6:59 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


See them tumbling down
Pledging their love to the ground
Lonely but free I'll be found
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Cares of the past are behind
Nowhere to go but I'll find
Just where the trail will wind
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn

I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds

Drifting on and on
Moving on and on
Wandering on and on
posted by HuronBob at 7:05 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


From the comments, here's one with the original audio with radio communications and "holy shits" as the crews realize what's happening.
posted by mediareport at 7:09 PM on March 23 [14 favorites]


Also from the comments, the US Fish & Wildlife Service's response:

Thank you, Thomas for sharing this video. We wanted to add a bit of context for viewers:

A whirlwind of tumbleweeds blows up 200 feet into the air from the Uvalda irrigation ditch during a prescribed fire at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge on the prairie near metropolitan Denver, Colorado. Whirlwinds such as this are naturally occurring and commonly created by divergent wind patterns. In this instance, the whirlwind pulled the fire across the control line, causing burning tumbleweeds to start a spot fire. The safety of the public and our firefighters is always our number one priority and holding crews quickly extinguished the flames, which is standard procedure.

Fully prepared and trained firefighters from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, South Metro, Denver, Fairmount, and West Metro Fire Departments conducted the prescribed fire to clear overgrown vegetation, reduce wildfire risk to nearby homes, and stimulate growth of native switchgrass and Indian grass. Burns are regularly scheduled at the Refuge to reduce the possibility of accidental fires on our prairie. This video dramatically demonstrates the need for this program. Another burn took place on Wednesday, March 19th, during which an additional 678 acres were burned according to plan.

"What we saw and how we reacted is exactly what we want out of our fire crews — well planned with plenty of on-site resources to manage contingencies, safety first, and well trained folks got after it quickly," said Refuge Manager David Lucas.

posted by mediareport at 7:11 PM on March 23 [8 favorites]


I'm glad they picked the same soundtrack my 12th level magic user hears in his head when summoning The Inferno.
posted by Metro Gnome at 8:01 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


I kept waiting for the encounter HUD to appear on screen so I could start attacking. And to see if all the tumbleweeds were separate mobs or a type of shield to defeat before tackling the main enemy.
posted by mephisjo at 8:05 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


mediareport: "From the comments, here's one with the original audio with radio communications and "holy shits" as the crews realize what's happening."

Haha thanks for that. My favorite part - "Well that escalated quickly!".
posted by lazaruslong at 8:11 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Tumbleweeds are mostly Russian thistle (Kali tragus) and are not native to the Americas. Russian thistle was most likely introduced to North American in the 1870s in shipments of flax, and then you'd need to allow for a couple of decades for it to spread. So basically the tumbleweed as iconic of the Old West is inaccurate, or only partly accurate depending upon the period depicted.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:16 PM on March 23 [12 favorites]


Why do people think they need to put SRS HEVY METAL music over things like this to make them dramatic? The bare audio is plenty dramatic!
posted by Lexica at 8:33 PM on March 23 [13 favorites]


I was brought up to fear tornadoes, fire, and dust devils. This is like the holy grail of OHSHITDAD for me.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:33 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Metal as fuck.
posted by brundlefly at 8:37 PM on March 23


Definitely a "did I do that?" moment.
posted by planetesimal at 8:43 PM on March 23


Looks like something out of Half-Life 2.
posted by zardoz at 9:57 PM on March 23


I kept expecting to see Jan Michael Vincent and George Peppard drive through in an armored winnebago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:00 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


Can you image seeing something like this 1000 or 2000 years ago? I would surely believe this is god incarnate walking across the plains.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:56 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]


Well, maybe a godoid.
posted by hat_eater at 1:17 AM on March 24


I kept expecting to see Jan Michael Vincent and George Peppard drive through in an armored winnebago.

Jan Michael Vincent don't drive, Jan Michael Vincent FLYS. You're probably thinking of Dirk Benedict. (Yes, I HAVE wasted my life, thank you for noticing).
posted by Optamystic at 3:42 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Next up, plutonium firenado of death's construction down the road at Rocky Flats during a controlled burn there!

Note: no sarin gas "bombs" were discovered during this RMNA firenado. Any "bomb-lets" discovered are subject to classification as not-bombs because bomb-lets are cuter.
posted by lordaych at 3:51 AM on March 24


You're probably thinking of Dirk Benedict. (Yes, I HAVE wasted my life, thank you for noticing).


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
posted by valkane at 6:09 AM on March 24 [5 favorites]


man that is seriously terrifying. Front Range weather: mainly nice, with a side of lolnope.

I have been knocked off my bike into the ditch by a spontaneous dust devil that sprang out of nowhere on a perfectly gorgeous Front Range midsummer day. Thankfully I was chucked into the ditch and not across the road into traffic, and thanks to a (mostly) soft landing area it was an otherwise unremarkable spill that only resulted in dusty kit and annoyance on my part.

I do, however, maintain a vast loathing for tumbleweeds. For 3 seasons of the year out here, they are a windborne pestilence. I've been hit whilst riding by small ones on numerous occasions, and though they (mostly) dissipate on contact, they are vicious little balls of thorns and FAIL, the root/stem end hurts like a mofo if it hits you in the face, and there's always the risk of sucking one into the bike's drivetrain where it may cause no end of mischief. And after witnessing a 40mph crosswind hurl one roughly the size of a VW Beetle into a group of riders ahead of me at a spring road race about a decade ago, with the resulting crash sending a half dozen guys to medical, I say with feeling: fuck tumbleweeds.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:09 PM on March 24 [3 favorites]


Russian thistle was most likely introduced to North American in the 1870s

National Geographic had a pretty good article recently about them.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:53 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


> From the comments, here's one with the original audio yt with radio communications

Aw, man. I was hoping the band was in the back of a flatbed truck, just out of the camera's sight.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:34 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


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