You never want to have to say “I’m probably just going to camp here and watch it burn” when it comes to a vehicle. Especially when you are talking about your 2013 Jeep Wrangler JKU Rubicon. Not to mention you are 30 miles from a paved road by yourself off-roading in remote Oregon. At least the owner was well prepared for the situation of his Jeep Wrangler burning down.
The Vlogger and Off-road enthusiast, Casey Kaiser, went out in late August to make another video for his YouTube Channel, Coyote Works. Casey’s normal videos consist of jeep overland car camping trips. He accompanies those with off-road product reviews, guns, cooking outdoors, and other overland related content.
So… what happened?
Casey had been exploring all day to reach the area where he was going to camp for the night. He ran into a dead end and had to back track for over two hours. This would get him to an area where he could settle in for the night. By this time it is getting dark and well after the time Casey wanted camp to be set.
“What HAPPENED next was beyond anything I could have IMAGINED”
About an hour before dark, Casey approached a valley that had a lot of level ground and a gate in the distance. As he got out, turned the Jeep off, and walked to open the gate, he noticed something rather bizarre. Smoke was poring out from the hood without any other indication before that something was wrong. All gauges appeared normal with no issue before he stepped out of the vehicle. Casey opened the hood to see what was wrong and he could see a fire at the back of the engine bay. “It looks as if the fire originated between the rear of the motor and the firewall.” Casey stated. For the next couple of minutes Casey used his fire extinguisher and a couple of gallons of water to try and save his Jeep. Unfortunately, these attempts to save the Jeep from complete destruction were unsuccessful.
It certainly would not be easy to stare at your 2013 Jeep Wrangler burning in the middle of nowhere. Having the experience of camping and being outdoors, Casey quickly jumped into action. Saving as much of his survival gear and belongings as possible. He noticed he could easily be stranded for multiple days.
Casey’s next plan of action was to dig a trench around the Jeep to stop the fire from spreading. A wild fire in that terrain can spread thousands of acres before being stopped.
For the next few hours, the burning would continue as Casey organized his gear for survival.
Did he not lose his mind?
We are all sitting here thinking, I would be losing my mind if my Jeep was burning down. It really shows Casey’s character that first off, he is not absolutely losing it, and secondly, he still finds the good view in bad events.
“It’s still a beautiful night out here and I might as well enjoy it. I am stuck here for a while.”
Casey was able to send a tracking signal through a GPS app that he has. One of his friends was able to get his location and retrieve him. He made it home, safe and sound, early the next day, but without his beloved, crispy, Jeep Rubicon. Five days later the Jeep was towed off. The recovery company said that is was the longest hardest recovery they have ever done.
What caused the fire?
Casey has some theories about what caused the fire and is currently making a follow-up video about it. Just goes to show you, anything can happen and you need to be prepared for it.
Was he cooking his breakfast burrito on the top of the motor? LOL. I know of a lot of overlanders that do…
Was it caused by a build up of dry grass? The Canning Stock Route in Western Australia is littered with burnt out 4WD’s caused by the spinifex. Extra care needs to be taken when off roading in grassy terrain.
Not sure but it seems plausible!