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President Biden Announces New Programs To Help Wildland Firefighters, Including An Increase In Pay

President Biden announced Tuesday morning that he is increasing the pay for federal firefighters, along with creating new programs to help them continue to save homes and lives from wildfires. The President says “firefighters are some of the bravest men and women among us, and the backbone of our communities, protecting our homes, businesses, schools and families from catastrophe.” Last summer, wildland firefighters pay was increased to 15-dollars an hour. Today, Biden announced their bi-weekly checks will go up 50-percent of the annual base salary for two years. Biden says he will work with Congress to secure long-term funding, to make sure wildland firefighters keep the raises and thensome. With the announcement of the pay raise, also comes steps to help firefighters in other areas. There will be the creation of new supports for firefighters in areas such as mental health, landscape resiliency and other climate-related studies. There are plans to improve recruitment and retention, along with establishing new wildland fire management series, which will better identify federal firefighters with the work they do. The money for the raises and new supports and programs will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.