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This Footage Of A Guy Setting A River On Fire Will Scare The Shit Out Of You

Rivers....shouldn't burn.

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This is NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham holding a flame to the Condamine River in southeastern Queensland, Australia, just a few kilometres from a nearby coal seam gas mine.

Here it is in slow motion.

Buckingham told BuzzFeed News he was approached by a local who was concerned about CSG fracking near his home in the Condamine valley, where hundreds of CSG wells are owned by Queensland energy companies.

The local told Buckingham he had been able to light a gas bubble on fire near his home, so Buckingham decided to see it for himself.

"What we didn't expect was the 'Wile E. Coyote' moment, where it blew up in our faces. We thought we'd get a small flame. We didn't expect an explosion," Buckingham said.

The video was uploaded to Buckingham's Facebook page on Friday evening, and has since gone viral, racking up 50,000 shares.

"The reaction has been phenomenal. I just got off doing Russian TV. It's been reported in Ireland, Canada, The US, New Zealand. It's completely gone viral," he said.

Buckingham says the video is a warning to residents across Australia about the potential impacts of CSG mining and fracking, which is the process of drilling into the earth to release the gasses trapped inside.

"If you give a shit about climate change, you should be concerned about an industry that wants to let a really potent gas into the environment," he said.

Buckingham says the river continued to burn for an hour after it was set alight.

"The reality is that before the fracking occured in the area, the river wasn't bubbling. It's begun to bubble. The volumes of gas are truly alarming. There's so much gas coming up now, the river is on fire."

Local energy provider Origin Energy has played down the video, saying the nearest CSG well is several kilometres away, but acknowledged that more gas has been reaching the surface in recent months.

Max Phillips

"We are concerned by the actions of local activists and green campaigners deliberately lighting up the seeps in the river to gain attention for their anti-gas views. This is neither safe nor responsible behaviour," a spokesman for Origin said.

The spokesman said gas reaching the surface of the river is natural and is to be expected in the area, and that research into the gas seeps is ongoing.

"The [gas] seeps pose no risk to the environment, or public safety providing people show common sense and act responsibly around them."

"Research to date has identified several scenarios that could be contributing to the seeps including the underlying geology, natural events such as drought and flood cycles and human activity which includes water bores and CSG operations."

Buckingham says he wants to make fracking and CSG mining a major issue in the upcoming federal election campaign.

Max Phillips

"The industry should be shut down. There is no future for an industry that is going to cause this sort of damage to the environment," he said.

You can watch the whole video here.

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Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

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