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Sunday, February 25th, 2024

Measure addresses wildlands firefighter pay protections

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U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), Steve Daines (R-MT), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) recently introduced the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (S.2272), which would equitably address Wildlands firefighter compensation levels.

“America’s federal firefighters bravely put their lives on the line to protect all of us from the devastating impact of wildfires,”
Manchin, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, said. “I am happy that both parties were able to come together to ensure that our federal firefighters are supported. This bipartisan legislation will help us recruit and retain qualified individuals to our firefighting workforce.”

Manchin said without the legislation, the nation risks losing a sizable portion of its workforce.

The measure would permanently increase federal Wildland Firefighter pay; establish a new pay scale for Wildland Firefighters; establish additional pay supplements for Wildland Firefighters; and require consistency in agencies’ policies related to work-life balance.

“For years, wildland firefighters have been asked to do too much for too little,” Barrasso said. “These brave heroes must be compensated for risking their lives to protect forests and communities in Wyoming and across the West. Our bipartisan Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act is a major step toward ensuring wildland firefighters are treated fairly.