Mopping up hot spots

Trail, Ore. — When it comes to wildfires, mopping up can mean a lot of things. A lot of people don’t know that mopping up hot spots is one of the most important parts of fighting fires.

The environment for mopping up isn’t very safe either, crews working hot spots are exposed to wasps, hornets, and even snakes. In fact, fires that happen under the ground can be more dangerous than flames on top of the soil.

Dallas Hajos is an inmate from South Fork Forest Camp. He works with a crew of ten people to mop up hot spots.

“Mopping is a method when you have under coal underneath the burning fire,” Hajos said.

Coal that can spark up and start fires underground.

“You want to get them up, and you want to break them apart, and you want to cool them down with a hose,” he said.

The fuels underground are part of a root system.

“We actually have to dig down and keep digging until we see smoke,” Hajos said.

If they don’t put out a piece of the system, it could re-ignite the whole fire once again.

“Eventually that will start that tree on fire and then we have a big problem again,” he said.

ODF crews will continue to mop up hot spots, There are at least 100 areas they’re looking at within the fire lines.

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