NFFE Applauds Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Fiscal Pay Cliff for Federal Wildland Firefighters


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: (202) 550-6987

July 12, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) applauds the introduction of the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act (WFPPA), which will codify into law a continuation of base pay levels for federal wildland firefighters as outlined in President Biden’s original budget proposal for FY24. The act also includes incident response pay to reflect the 24-hour, seven days per week commitment that wildland firefighters endure while deployed to incidents such as fires, floods, and other catastrophes.

“It is critical that Congress passes this legislation as soon as possible,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “If the provisions within this law do not pass by September 30, federal wildland firefighters will endure a pay cliff of a 50% cut to their base pay up to $20,000. If this happens, a mass exodus will begin that may be impossible to stop. Thankfully, there is a tremendous amount of bipartisan support for the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act. In addition to continuing existing practices on pay, the bill recognizes the 24/7 working life of wildland firefighters while on assignment, and it calls attention to the burnout and exhaustion that these firefighters experience throughout the year.”

In addition to working with Congress to draft and introduce the WFPPA, NFFE is continuing discussions with the Biden administration and land management agencies to modernize the federal wildland firefighter workforce. Part of this effort includes renegotiating the NFFE-USFS Master Agreement to implement workplace reforms that can be established outside of Congressional legislation, on items such as incident response and housing. NFFE also continues to work with agency leaders on the new occupational series for wildland firefighters to expand opportunities for employees and properly classify workers as professional first responders.

“It should be evident to every member of Congress that the wildfire crisis is not slowing down any time soon,” continued Erwin. “We must do everything we can to protect our life and property from wildfires that are now happening in every corner of the country. Congress has a responsibility to ensure we have a workforce that can appropriately respond and mitigate any threat, including wildfires. I urge Congress to quickly pass the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act before it is too late.”

Action Alert: Tell Congress to Cosponsor and Pass the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act!