Monday, November 2, 2015

Watching the Seasons Change

I was just thinking to myself as I took notice of the leaves changing their colors how beautiful Shenandoah National Park would be this time of the year. Whether you're taking a drive along the Skyline or going for a hike in the back country to spot rattlesnakes and waterfalls it's a beautiful sight. I was stationed at Manassas National Battlefield Park, but I was less than an hour away from the North entrance of Shenandoah through the small town of Front Royal. Midway through my summer experience my Chief thought it would be great if I could take the Wildland Fire course, S-130/190 at Shenandoah NP where it would be taught. Luckily with a couple phone calls and a few forms to fill out I would be staying just outside the park for the 4-day training to receive my Red card along with a seasonal maintenance worker at MANA.
We spent three days in a classroom going over basics and essential tools used on a fire, and the last day was spent in the field getting to use the equipment and understanding how to deploy your shelter in a matter of seconds. Not only did the training teach me about wild land firefighting, but in order to go on this training I had the opportunity to work closely with Manassas's administration staff. I was fortunate enough for them to support me going on the training and help teach me about how to send someone out on a training or even on a fire, as well how one would get paid or reimbursed during such an event.
Overall I had a great time at Shenandoah, getting the chance to meet other people working in the park and seeing Shenandoah in a different way rather than from a visitor perspective. A way in such that can help protect and prevent the spread of fire throughout the park if such an unfortunate incident ever took place.
Here we are all lined up, each ready to head out into the woods to do
some practical training with different tools.

Myself, in (borrowed) Personal Protective Equipment.
Seasonal Maintenance employee at MANA, Christian, carrying the leaf blower.
Digging a line.
Not only is the leaf blower used to help control and reduce fire in the field,
but also used to simulate the rough wind speeds of fire rolling over a deployed shelter. 
Saying goodbye to Shenandoah NP.

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