NFFE Endorses New Legislation to Address Wildfire Crisis


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: 202-550-698

June 11, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) applauds the introduction of the Modernizing Wildfire Safety and Prevention Act, a new bipartisan bill sponsored by Representatives Josh Harder (D-CA), Scott Franklin (R-FL), and Joe Neguse (D-CO). The legislation is based on recommendations from the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission, a group of wildfire experts tasked with studying causes and solutions to the wildfire crisis, as required by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

“This legislation is a comprehensive and sensible approach to how the federal government should respond the evolving wildfire crisis,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “Experts from the Wildland Fire Mitigation and Management Commission laid out their recommendations, and now is the time to put those strategies into action. This legislation will greatly impact recruitment and retention of skilled personnel, with critical support mechanisms for the wellbeing of wildland firefighters at the forefront of this crisis. It will also equip the workforce with the necessary technologies and resources to safely protect our communities from wildfires.”

The bill will focus on the recruitment and retainment of well-qualified federal wildland firefighters by creating new programs to train and hire more personnel, as well as improving benefits and working conditions to ensure experienced firefighters remain in federal service. The legislation will also implement innovative technologies to improve fire response times and the tracking of health concerns caused by wildfire smoke.

“NFFE is pleased to see that Congress is taking strategic steps to implement the solutions proposed in the Commission’s report,” continued Erwin. “It is important to note that the Commission highlighted the critical need to increase compensation for wildland firefighters, which can be resolved with the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act. With that being said, this legislation is also crucial to ensuring we can properly combat the wildfire crisis by addressing other issues that are critical to investing in our federal wildland firefighting workforce. I thank Representatives Harder, Franklin, and Neguse for their leadership on this issue.”