Ahead Of Fire Season, The Senators Push For Additional Resources For Wildland Firefighters Before Temporary Funding Expires
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined a bipartisan group of Western Senators in urging the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to consider a long-term solution to increase wildland firefighter recruitment and retention. In their letter, the Senators push Congress to act before the short-term pay increases for federal wildland firefighters, which Senator Rosen helped secure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, expire later this year.
“Investing in our federal wildland firefighters is a matter of national security as critical infrastructure, homes, communities, structures, and natural resources are at grave and growing risk of catastrophic wildfire,” wrote the Senators. “As the 2023 fire season begins, Congress must support our nation’s federal wildland firefighters and ensure the federal government has a robust and resilient workforce.”
“Wildland firefighters are on the front lines of these crises, protecting homes and communities, and helping reduce megafires’ severity and scope. Despite their critical importance, federal wildland firefighters are stretched to their breaking point,” concluded the Senators. “Firefighters deserve fair pay, support for their mental and physical health, and time to recover from their dangerous work. In a future with increasingly catastrophic wildfires, Congress cannot wait to ensure that the federal government has the necessary workforce to protect communities.”
The full letter can be found here.
As fire seasons continue to increase in intensity, Senator Rosen continues to ensure wildland firefighters have the resources they need. Senator Rosen helped draft and pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that included a historic pay raise for wildland firefighters, and joined her colleagues in a letter calling on the Office of Personnel Management to swiftly implement the provisions. Rosen also backed the Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act, which would waive annual premium pay caps for federal wildland firefighters working overtime due to wildfire emergencies.