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Jogger tries to put out wildfire with his FEET as blaze destroyed 200 acres of desert near Phoenix


‘Don’t try this at home!’: Jogger is spotted by TV helicopter trying to put wildfire out with his FEET near Phoenix

  • Trevor Murphy of Scottsdale, Arizona, was on his usual pre-dawn jog on Friday 
  • He runs every day up to 20 miles as part of training for 100-mile ultra marathon 
  • Murphy noticed fire as he approached McDowell Mountain Regional Park
  • Fire started Thursday night by lightning as monsoon swept through area
  • Television news helicopter showed footage of Murphy trying to put out fire
  • He used his feet to kick dirt and create a fire break while also using rocks 
  • CBS weatherman warned viewers that ‘this is not a good idea’ 
  • Murphy said the bottom of his running shoes were burned and his phone broke 
  • He also said he suffered from ‘lots of singed hair’ as a result of his efforts 

By Ariel Zilber For

Published: | Updated:

Talk about holding your feet to the fire – literally.

A former professional golfer and marathon runner who went on his early morning jog near his Scottsdale, Arizona, home on Friday tried to put out a wildfire that erupted nearby with his shoes.

His makeshift firefighting efforts were captured by a local television helicopter and broadcast to the shock of the CBS affiliate’s weatherman, who warned viewers: ‘Don’t ever do this people’.

Trevor Murphy, who is training for a 100-mile ultra marathon scheduled to take place in October, was doing his normal 10-to-20-mile morning run when he reached McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

The night before, lightning from a strong monsoon that swept the area started a wildfire.

An Arizona jogger tried to put out a wildfire near Phoenix on Friday using just his shoes

The jogger, Trevor Murphy, ran dangerously close to the flames and tried to create a fire break

Murphy said it felt like he was in a scene of a Hollywood action flick

‘I’m out on that trail mostly every day,’ he told 3 TV.

Murphy said he approached the flames and tried to create a fire break in order to prevent the flames from spreading into a nearby preserve.

‘It was kind of working in one direction and I felt like it was already pretty under control,’ Murphy said.

‘I just wanted to make sure it didn’t cross the trail and head north towards Tom’s Thumb. 

‘No one was out there and I felt like I could do my part, what little help maybe I did.’

Murphy, a former professional golfer who now works in real estate, thinks he prevented the fire from spreading another 150 yards

Video footage taken by a television news helicopter showed Murphy running dangerously close to the flames and kicking dirt in an effort to extinguish the blaze.

Murphy said he threw rocks and kicked up mounds of dirt, which he claims prevented the fire from spreading another 150 yards.

CBS 5 This Morning meteorologist Ian Schwartz pointed out that firefighters ‘use tools. They don’t use Adidas.

‘This is not a good idea. It is not going to be very effective and you can get hurt,’ Schwartz said. ‘I’ve never seen that I think in 15 years of doing this.’

When told that some viewers assumed he was an off-duty firefighter, Murphy said this was not so. He’s a former professional golfer who now works in real estate.

Murphy’s attempted heroism came with a price. 

‘The soles of my shoes are melted [and I have] lots of singed hair,’ he said. Murphy added that his cell phone broke and he also received a parking ticket. 

He said he had been working to stop the flames from spreading for some two hours before the news helicopter spotted him.

‘I did quite a bit, as much as I could. I like to see some positive news out there so I thought I could give you it,’ he said.

As the helicopter footage played, Schwartz he was ‘just curious about how this ends. I don’t think this man is going to perish or anything… I just don’t think he’s going to get the job done.’ 

Some Twitter users also questioned Murphy’s choice to battle the fire with his feet. One wrote ‘this is like trying to solve the global warming crisis by making changes in your personal lifestyle’. Another felt that ‘it’s nice that he so bravely attempted that… but at the same time… I have always felt like there’s this very fine line between bravery and stupidity’.

As of Sunday, the McDowell Fire burned through some 600 acres and is 80 per cent contained.

In total, at least seven fires destroyed at least 60,000 acres in Arizona over the weekend. 


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