They towed it onto solid ground, where they could have removed the engines, removed the wings and tail section from the fuselage and taken it out in due time. They would not have had to make the repeated trips which consumed so much time. If they didn't have time to do it right, they weren't doing it right.
The fire wasn't even due to the age of the aircraft or the conditions it had been in. The fire was due to poor preparation. I mean, just taxiing it around was enough to dislodge the jury-rigged fuel tank and start the fire. There was little chance it would have held for the flight, which means that lives were in peril from their lack of thoroughness. That tells me that these guys were out of their league.