Search Results for: wildland firefighter pay

Daines Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Raise Overtime Pay Cap for Wildland Firefighters

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines helped introduce bipartisan legislation to permanently raise the caps on overtime premium pay for federal wildland firefighters. The “Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act” would increase these overtime pay caps to appropriately compensate Forest Service and Department of the Interior wildland firefighters for the work they do. Despite risking their lives and traveling cross-country for months at a time to protect American communities and forests from catastrophic wildfires, many of the more than 11,000 wildland firefighters live paycheck to paycheck. This has contributed to a firefighter workforce shortage — already, 20 percent of Forest Service permanent firefighter positions are

Daines Calls on Senate Leadership to Support Montana Wildland Firefighters, Protect Increased Pay

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines joined a group of bipartisan senators in urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to avoid mass resignations of Montana wildland firefighters and promptly pass their bipartisan “Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act.” Daines secured a pay raise for federal wildland firefighters in his “Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act” that will expire on October 1. “Due to the dangers that wildfires pose to our forests and communities, a lack of action to ensure the fair treatment of our federal wildland firefighting workforce would jeopardize national security. Therefore, we request that

Daines Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Make Pay Raise for Wildland Firefighters Permanent 

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines helped introduce the bipartisan “Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act”to maintain the pay raise secured for Montana wildland firefighters in Daines’ bipartisan “Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act” that was signed into law in 2021. Daines’ “Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act” which was also signed into law in 2021 and required the Office of Personnel Management to create a job series for wildland firefighters that recognized the dangerous work they do and also helped pave the way for this critical boost in compensation. “As fire season devastates Montana communities year after year, Montana wildland firefighters put everything on the line to protect Montana families and towns. I was glad to work with my colleagues across

Daines Calls for Passage of bipartisan 9th Circuit Cottonwood fix, highlights efforts to support wildland firefighters at Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today called attention to the serious threat of wildfires as smoke covers East Coast skies and highlighted the importance of passing his full and permanent fix for the 9th Circuit Cottonwood decision. Click HERE to download his remarks. Daines: When you woke up this morning in Washington, you might have opened your windows up and heard the birds coughing outside. It’s no secret that wildfire season is upon us. My guess is that folks on the East Coast are already sick of the smoke. We’re already hearing about ground stops at the Philadelphia airport,

Daines, Feinstein Bipartisan Senate Resolution Honoring Wildland Firefighters Passes U.S. Senate

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced the Senate passed their bipartisan Senate resolution recognizing the selfless bravery of wildland firefighters and first responders across the country. “Montana’s wildland firefighters and first responders are heroes—they put their lives on the line without hesitation to protect our families and local communities from devastating wildfires. I am glad to recognize them, today and every day, for their bravery, sacrifice, and heroism, and will always work to ensure they have the resources and support they need every fire season,” Daines said. “Wildland firefighters are on the frontlines protecting us from catastrophic wildfires, especially in California. More than 20,000

Daines Secures, Advances Critical Montana Wins Including Funding for St. Mary’s Water Project, Forest Management Reforms to Prevent Deadly Wildfires, Pay Raises for Firefighters

U.S. SENATE —After securing the inclusion of major wins for Montana including and funding for the St. Mary’s Milk River Project, bipartisan forest management provisions to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and provide pay raises to wildland firefighters, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted to support a bipartisan proposal out of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “After years of work, I’m glad to finally see funding advanced for the St. Mary’s Milk River water project,” Daines said. “ This funding will help repair critical water infrastructure for Montana’s Hi-Line communities and will ensure farmers, landowners and Tribes have access

Daines Fights for Montana’s Wildland Firefighters

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced The Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act and The Wildland Firefighter Fairness Act. “I have heard the challenges our wildland firefighters face and I am taking action,” Daines said. “The two bills I introduced are aimed at strengthening our preparedness for future wildfires and ensures we are recruiting and retaining the folks who put it all on the line for our safety.” The legislation would direct the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to create a “Wildland Firefighter” job series and would address several technical problems wildland firefighters face.    To read The Wildland Firefighter

In Missoula, wildland firefighters discuss retention, morale, USFS regs with Daines

Those who jump from planes, provide initial attack deep in the forest or staff an engine line all have a common set of issues related to their federal job classification, which mentions nothing about being a firefighter. Retaining qualified crew members and staying within the hours that wildland firefighters are permitted to work have also emerged as problems, according to Montana and Idaho firefighters who met with Sen. Steve Daines on Friday at Neptune Aviation in Missoula. “We need Congress to understand the issues and address them, because we’re having a serious issue of retention among our firefighters,” said Casey

Independent Record: More logging and thinning to battle wildfires might just burn taxpayer dollars

In the wake of one of the worst fire seasons in Montana history, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have called for more logging and thinning in forests as a way to “fireproof” the state and create more jobs at lumber mills. But several wildfire experts contend that fires will keep burning and sending smoke into valleys, especially during unusually hot and dry periods like this summer. While there isn’t a clear scientific consensus on the best approach to manage such fires, a common theme among experts who spoke to the Missoulian is that more forest management alone isn’t the answer. “Often

Daines, Cantwell Introduce Legislation to Protect and Recognize Wildland Firefighters

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today introduced two bipartisan, bicameral bills to protect and recognize wildland firefighters. First, the Wildland Firefighter Recognition Act requires the federal government to provide a special designation to call wildland firefighters just that, wildland firefighters, rather than their current designation as forestry technicians. Providing wildland firefighters with the proper title will improve recruitment efforts and morale and also give due recognition to those brave individuals who risk their lives to protect others’ and their property.  Second, the Wildland Firefighter Fairness Act addresses several technical problems wildland firefighters face. Currently, many