The two hikers, Justin Bilton, 37, and his 70-year-old father Charles, from Boston, Massachusetts, were on a backpacking trip off Lake McDonald Road when heat and smoke from the Howe Ridge Fire started moving in their direction very quickly, reported The Trek.
Tuesday morning, Justin chatted with CNN’s “New Day” where he told them, “Once we saw that downed tree, I really didn't think we were going to be able to get out of there alive.”
On Monday, Justin told the Boston Globe that at the start of the fire, they thought they could get out of there safely.
After spending three hours trying to find an exit and ultimately being halted by a fallen tree, Justin told the Globe, “I thought we were going to die – I thought we were trapped, there was no way we could turn around on the road.”
At that point, Charles hopped in the drivers seat and reversed the way they came in.
“We were on an 8-foot-wide dirt road with a lot of ruts. It was hard to see because of the flames and because of the intensity,” Justin told CNN
After making their way back at speeds as high as 40 miles per hour, the two spotted park rangers in a motorboat and screamed for help, according to the Globe. The rangers picked them up and escorted them to their campsite where they packed up and eventually reached safety.
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