No Wildland Firefighters for Idaho Just Yet

Last summer, the Pioneer Fire ravaged the Boise National Forest. The largest wildfire on Forest Service land, the fire ripped through over 180,000 acres of forest. By August, wildfires had burned over 400,000 acres of Idaho. Our state needs wildland firefighters to protect residential structures, recreational outposts, and our communities.

One of the first actions the Trump administration took was to implement a hiring freeze on federal positions. This hiring freeze includes any done by the National Interagency Fire Center which is the agency that hires wildland firefighters. This agency includes the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Fire Administration. ALL of these agencies coordinate national firefighting planning and operations.

UPDATE: The Office of Personnel Management has lifted this freeze, so Idaho can finally start hiring firefighters. This type of shortsighted action by the Trump administration only causes confusion, alarm, and doesn’t add to our trust issues.

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