With 'firefighter fiscal cliff' weeks away a push for permanent pay raises intensifies
The deadline to prevent steep, across-the-board pay cuts to federal wildland firefighters is now just weeks away.
Federal infrastructure funds gave firefighters a temporary pay raise in 2021 of $20,000 a year or 50%.
But that funding is set to dry up Oct. 1 unless a permanent pay raise is approved by Congress.
Officials fear the cuts could cause mass resignations and deepen recruitment and retention challenges in the 19,000-person workforce.
Low pay and longer working hours during increasingly extreme fire seasons has strained firefighter ranks and caused many to find work elsewhere.