Blog Post 2: A New Hope…and the Rest of Wayne County

The CWPP team has been working incredibly hard in three different counties to finish up the wildfire protection plans. After several weeks, we are finally wrapping up our protection plan for Wayne County, which was the first county we visited. We assessed eight different fire districts: Little River, Pikeville/Pleasant Grove, Nahunta, Fremont/Northern Wayne, Oakland, Belfast, Rosewood, and New Hope (which spawned many outbursts of the Star Wars theme song). Our team was divided into three task forces: the mapper, who led an initial interview with the fire chiefs about the location of water sources, pertinent locations for staging vehicles, and other essential information and identified where it was on the map; the Access person, who conducted a second interview for more information on areas identified on the map and entered the data into the Access database; and the GIS tech, who found latitudes and longitudes of points identified on the map and created shapefiles for Areas of Concern (AOCs). We implemented a rotation system to ensure that everyone had been assigned to each task force at least once. After three weeks, we have finished up our interviews and will be meeting with the Wayne County Ranger, Brandon, and the Wayne Assistant County Ranger, Hannah, to gather mitigation actions for AOCs and areas for prescribed burning. Wayne County was so welcoming to us, with fire chiefs telling us of the sights to see and parks to visit (particularly Cliffs of the Neuse) and hearing about the largest pork display in the eastern United States in the Nahunta Pork Center, which, unfortunately, we were unable to visit. Our adventures in Wayne County will soon come to a close, but there are still many other counties for us to explore! Last weekend, we took off from Jacksonville to explore a bit of the Triangle (or the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region) and to help build a boardwalk at the New Hope Creek Bottomlands Trail in Durham. We had an excellent time constructing the trail with the New Hope Creek Corridor Advisory Committee, a group that strives to increase community involvement to keep the New Hope Creek healthy. Many of us had never participated in trail building before and had a wonderful experience learning the process of building trails. Just look at those happy faces! Stay tuned for more updates from Greene, Onslow, and Jones counties!

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