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Senator Kyrsten Sinema Is Urging The Establishment Of A Special Pay Rate For Wildland Firefighters Before The Heart Of Fire Season

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema is urging the Biden Administration to establish a special pay rate for federal wildland firefighters to prevent staffing shortages. Senator Sinema toured the Tunnel and Crooks fires near Flagstaff and Prescott respectively and was adamant about raising firefighter pay. In an exclusive interview with KAFF News, Sinema addressed this issue. She said, “last year when we passed the infrastructure law, we included $600-million, and legal authority, to reclassify our wildland firefighters, our Hotshots.” She adds, “a lot of people don’t realize this but Hotshots don’t make the same amounts of money as regular firefighters, which is insane.” Sinema sent a letter to the White House saying establishing the new pay rate needs to be done soon so recruitment and retention issues can be addressed before we get deeper into the fire season. The letter was signed by 13 other senators, including Arizona Senator Mark Kelly. Arizona Congressman Tom O’Halleran also signed the letter.