The final piece of ensuring safe and controlled prescribed fire involves all the personnel on hand, including both the ignitions and holding crew, who continue to patrol the prescribed fire perimeter and perform “mop-up” into the afternoon and evening. Mop-up involves the use of hand tools and fire engines using hoses and water to extinguish “hot-spots” and residual flames where needed, such as along the control lines, to reduce the likelihood that the prescribed fire will escape. Fire personnel remains on the prescribed fire into the evening when cooler nighttime weather smothers the fire naturally.
Mop-up and patrol of the prescribed fire is an important responsibility that fire professionals take very seriously. For this reason, local personnel assigned to fire engines will continue to periodically patrol completed prescribed burns for many days after the flames are extinguished to monitor and address spots of lingering smoke.
Prescribed fire is only one of the many important forest restoration steps that are used together to improve the health of our forest, reduce the risk of extreme wildfires, and increase community and firefighter safety when wildfires do occur