Milepost 97 Fire: mop up at the front lines

Firefighters conducting a mop-up. (Sammy Shaktah/News 10)

The Milepost 97 Fire is still drawing the attention and resources of firefighters as "mop-up" efforts are taking place near the fire's perimeter along milepost 90 on Interstate-5.

A mop-up is when firefighters saturate the area with water as they look for hot spots from the fire's perimeter. They then make their way closer and closer to the center of the fire.

The goal is to look for any hot spots which may be deep under ash and other burnt debris. The hot spots can serve as an issue by reigniting the fire and also moving a new fire away from the original burned zone.

Manuel Garduno, a North Pacific Firefighter, and his crew were conducting a mop-up and working their way to the center of the fire. He has been a firefighter since 2003.

"A lot of fire around the stumps, we tried to put out everything and we try to secure the line. First of all, we were like 50 feet inside and after that, we moved to 75 or 100," Garduno said.

He mentioned how important it is that mop ups take place because it helps ensure that the fire is really out.

Firefighters can also feel the ground for hot spots which may still be able to bring forth another fire.

Garduno says it's hard work but he's very happy he gets the chance to save people, animals, and property as well. He said people have come up to him and called him and the other firefighters heroes, and he's grateful.

As of Friday, signs from the public can be seen outside the fire Milepost 97 Fire Camp can be seen, thanking the firefighters for their work and dedication.

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