A lot has happened since our last update, as of a few days ago we are officially two thirds of our way through our project. So, where did we leave off? August. In August, the Ragin’ Raleighs successfully battled a case of the shingles, with only one project leader falling victim. After decontaminating the entire house and both SCA vehicles, the crew continued working on finalizing Community Wildfire Protection Plans. As part of the finalization process, the crew learned how to use a map plotter and completed several community assessments on foot. By late August, the Ragin’ Raleighs had successfully completed eight Community Wildfire Protection Plans in Duplin County. As August began to wind down, the crew worked on their wildland firefighter training course – Fire in the Field. The month concluded with the Ragin’ Raleighs experiencing an earthquake and weathering through Hurricane Irene in the same week.
September began with a bang. The crew worked on finishing up their Fire in the Field coursework and continued to finalize CWPPs. While printing off plotter maps at their agency partner’s office, the crew had the fortunate opportunity to sit in on a meeting that overviewed the forest stand damage caused by Hurricane Irene. When their wildland firefighter coursework was complete, the Ragin’ Raleighs began to focus their work efforts on the North Carolina coastal county of Brunswick. A new challenge was presented as the county was a two and a half hour drive from their home office in Raleigh. To achieve optimal efficiency the crew organized their work into a series of three trips, spending several nights at Leland VFD and Tri-Beach VFD. The crew experienced a shift in leadership as Michael Catano left to pursue other dreams, leaving Tim as the newly instated Project Leader. To increase their neighborhood community participation, multiple crew members volunteered at Community Fun Day. As September comes to a close, the Ragin’ Raleighs will have finished CWPPs in Greene, Lenoir, and Wayne counties. Our work continues onward with the reviewing of Brunswick County and beginning Bladen County on the horizon.