It’s been said (By me!) that at the heart of every urban tragedy blame can ultimately be laid on rodents. True to form, it appears as though rats may be actually aiding the spread of wildfires which will probably burn down all of Los Angeles. How so? Well, here’s how it goes: a rat’s fur catches fire and then it frantically scurries away, effectively spreading the blaze to other dry areas, an action which serves to accelerate the spread of the fires. So how are firefighters in the LA area combating this? Oh, this one is great…
By catching the burning rats and tossing them back into the inferno! Yes, this is what it’s come to:
Small rodents, their fur on fire, are running from the flames, only to be scooped up and tossed back in the fire.
Desperate to keep the fire from crossing Oak Glen Road, firefighters want to keep the flaming rodents from reaching unburned chaparral.
On a semi-related note, one of the more fascinating books I’ve ever read is Rats by Robert Sullivan, an engrossing chronicle of the rat’s influence on urban living throughout history. Read it today before the rats burn down your town as well!
[Banksy LA rat art via]