By: Clare Price
As the end of June approaches, it is difficult to believe that we, the members of the CWPP Conservation Corp in North Carolina, are already over one sixth of the way through with our assignment. Upon arriving in North Carolina, we set up housing and our home office and then set off to South Dakota for SCA training. Not only was training great for learning more about SCA policies and projects, but we were also able to visit Mount Rushmore and experience snow in May, which was met with both delight and confusion. Upon our return from South Dakota, we have been going non-stop, from site training to conducting fire department interviews to exploring Iredell County during our assessments. Additionally, we have all been able to explore our base of Statesville, NC and the surrounding areas, as well as plan our group and individual service projects.
After arriving back in North Carolina, we received additional on-site training by the North Carolina Forest Service, our agency partner for the CWPP project. After arriving from South Dakota early that morning, and consuming endless amounts of caffeine, training helped everyone have a better grasp on our project. By the end of the week, we were ready to begin our Community Wildfire Protection Plans in Iredell County. We spent a little more than a week assessing wildfire risk in Iredell County. The assessments began with interviewing local fire department representatives about basic fire station information as well as questions specific to wildfire protection, preparedness, and prevention. After interviews were conducted, areas of wildfire concern were assessed. When we were not out assessing these areas of concern with our agency representative, we worked on inputting data and getting accustomed to the database interface.
With Iredell County done, we embarked onto our next county: Mecklenburg. The assessments are the same process as with Iredell County, but Mecklenburg faced its own challenges, such as navigating through the suburbs of Charlotte. We learned that through the incredible power of CWPP teamwork, nothing was out of reach. With our trusty maps and GPS, we have continued to make it back to our base in Statesville without getting too lost. With Mecklenburg County almost complete, we will continue assessing North Carolina. Stay tuned for all the juicy details on Union County, NC.