U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today led a group of bipartisan senators calling on the Biden administration to provide information on the availability and cost of federal firefighter housing. In many states, including Montana, housing issues are a key barrier to firefighter recruitment and retention.
“On November 17, 2022, the Government Accountability Office published a report on the barriers to wildland firefighter recruitment and retention, and one of the primary barriers identified by the report was the cost associated with a remote duty station, including the costs for federal housing. This finding confirms the anecdotes we have heard from firefighters across the nation that their housing units are in very poor condition and extremely expensive. Many wildland firefighters, however, work in remote areas with little available private housing, making them reliant on federally owned housing, regardless of the cost,” the senators wrote.
They continued, “Federal wildland firefighters have a difficult and dangerous job, and it is the federal government’s responsibility to support them in this work. We look forward to discussing these issues in detail and working with you to address the barriers to firefighter recruitment and retention.”
Read the letter sent to Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young HERE.
Daines, with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), were joined by Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in sending the letter.