For Trevor Murphy, August 22 started off like any other average day- he rose early and headed off to the McDowell Mountains in Arizona for a 20-mile training run. Murphy was in the midst of training for his first 100-mile race, the Javelina Jundred.
Upon arrival at the trailhead, Murphy noticed that the gate to the parking lot was closed, however he assumed this was simply due to the fact that it was early in the morning. Little did he know, lightning strikes from the previous night had sparked numerous wildfires in the area.
Murphy set off his on run, unknowing to the fact that there were wildfires close by. Approximately 5 miles into his run, Trevor Murphy encountered a brush fire that was burning on one side of the trail. Fearing that flames might spread across the trail, Murphy immediately called 911 and leaped into action.
Doing all that he could with minimal equipment, Murphy attempted to widen the trail so that it would serve as a natural barrier to prevent the spread of the flames. He also stamped out small flames with his feet wherever possible. While Murphy was working hard to contain the fire, a news chopper flew overhead gaining live footage of his valiant effort.
After about 3 hours of work, Murphy realized he could do no more and safely made his way back to the car.
Despite his good intentions, Trevor Murphy’s actions have proved controversial. Many have said that his actions did more to put him at risk than it did to actually contain the fire. Furthermore, critics argue that if Murphy were to have been injured, fire personnel would have had to risk their own safety to save him. Nonetheless, there are still many who applaud Murphy’s efforts to contain the brush fire. Regardless of opinion, Trevor Murphy is thankfully safe and lives to share his incredible story.