Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prince William Forest Park Week 3

I began last week working on a vehicle inspection project.  I spent the day taking photos of the various cars, trucks, vans, etc. from all the various park divisions, documenting all scratches and dents on the exterior of each vehicle.  This task is important since any of these markings must be documented so vehicles can be properly maintained, and to be able to identify new damage or anything not there before a certain date.  On Thursday, I continued to help with the hazardous fuel reduction progress, moving onto Mawavi Road.  We made solid progress that day, clearing a space about 75 yards long, moving fuels farther into the forest up to one chain in length from back from the road.  Friday, I was able to do a ride along with an LE ranger.  We drove through the park but there was not much activity, since the area was plagued with rain storms that day, and not many people were running or biking in the park.  However, while driving on a state road alongside the park, we did stumble upon a three car accident, and after the ranger radioed the county dispatch the location, he had to manage the scene for a few minutes until a Prince William County police officer arrived to take over.  Watching the ranger take charge at the incident served to remind me that even when outside the park’s jurisdiction, you have to be ready to act upon a scene such as this car accident, and always prepared to assist other law enforcement agencies and officers.  Saturday, I also went on a ride along with ranger Dave Ballam.  We checked on an ongoing Boy Scout project on the north side of the park, where they were clearing out a large amount of tires that had been dumped there.  It was nice to see people from the local community helping to make the park land in that area look beautiful again, as they had all those tires ready to be taken away at the end of the day.  All in all, it was a week that went by way too fast, but had plenty of great experiences. 

Charles Papacostas

Vehicle Inspections


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