Haaland, Vilsack, Announce New Pay Initiatives for Wildland Firefighters


Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced the implementation of President Biden’s pay initiatives to support federal wildland firefighters. The initiatives will increase the amount paid to approximately 3,500 firefighters with the Department of the Interior and more than 11,300 firefighters at the USDA Forest Service to ensure all firefighters are paid at least $15 an hour.

Secretary Vilsack states, “Supporting our brave firefighters with pay, benefits and career opportunities that reflect the importance and danger of the work that they do is critical to facing the mounting wildfire threat.” Interior currently employs roughly 5,000 wildland firefighters across the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service.

Approximately 3,500 of those employees will receive $7.6 million under these initiatives. The USDA Forest Service employs 14,500 wildland firefighters and, under these initiatives, more than 11,300 will receive an additional $24.3 million.