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US seeks to bolster firefighter ranks as wildfires increase

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - U.S. wildfire managers are considering shifting from seasonal to full-time firefighting crews to deal with what has become a year-round wildfire season and increasing pay and benefits to make the jobs more attractive.

There’s a push in Congress to increase firefighter pay and convert at least 1,000 seasonal wildland firefighters to permanent, full-time, year-round workers.

U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Christopher French told the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Thursday that firefighters are underpaid.

With the number of fires this year already outpacing last year's destruction, federal officials say they face a potential shortage of firefighters because of a low starting wage of $13 an hour.

Associated Press

This article was provided by the Associated Press.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. I think I found the glaringly obvious problem, “federal officials say they face a potential shortage of firefighters because of a low starting wage of $13 an hour.”
    Colorado state minimum wage is $12.32 per hour. So for an extremely dangerous and hard job, firefighting, I can start making $0.68 cents more an hour than the person flipping burgers at McDonalds. What an incentive.
    https://cdle.colorado.gov/wage-and-hour-law/minimum-wage

    1. Oh yeah, I also have to go to school for a fire sciences degree as well. So after a person now has debt from incurring a student loan, now they can really get ahead by making $13.00 an hour.

  2. This is not an important issue. If it was then it would have been addressed already.

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