Why mop-up can take a while
When the main fire has burned itself out, we move in to do mop-up. Mop-up involves making sure that anything that is still burning is well within the blackened area and presents no risk of spreading the fire outside of the designated burn unit. This year mopping up is a little more time consuming thanks to the tremendous number of trees Hurricane Isabel dropped back in 2003. It is a little tricky manuvering over and under fallen trees carrying a backpack pumper with 5 gallons of water in it and a fire rake. I would hate to have to be fighting a fire under these conditions -- all those western wildland firefighters have my utmost respect. We can move slowly and work at a less than break-neck pace, they can't.