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Wildland firefighting community launches Senate letter-writing campaign for legislation aimed at fair pay and retention

The wildland firefighting community and numerous advocacy groups have launched a letter-writing campaign aimed at U.S. Senators. They’re calling for the introduction and passages of the Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act.

Supporters say the stalled legislation is critical to securing and retaining a workforce and providing adequate wages and mental health benefits.

Historically, federal wildland firefighters have been paid less than state or municipal counterparts. They also have high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and deaths by suicide.

Advocates say the letter-writing campaign focuses on firefighter retention and recruitment. It specifically appeals Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management.