Please Call Your Congresspersons About HR 5169 and S 2272


You know I don’t usually ask for folks to contact Congressfolk about things.. I’m making an exception today. I listened to the Hotshot Wakeup podcast in which he interviewed folks from NFFE (federal employees’ union). They and Grassroots Wildland Firefighters are walking the halls of Congress this week, as I understand.  It sounded as if some reticence to pass HR 5169 is either due to just the fact it will cost money or in the hope of some horse-trading on something else.

I get the argument about spending money we don’t have, but I think we can still retain the ability to discern necessities from “nice to have” or even “payback for our friends.”  I’m sure that all of us, R, D, Independent or Whatever,  have suggestions about slack in the federal budget that could be cut to.. pay federal wildland firefighters.

According to the NFFE folks, phone calls to particularly House congressfolk might help.  It’s an easy five minutes, so why not?

Here’s the letter from NFFE, Grassroots Wildland Firefighters and others..

Dear Members of Congress,
As constituents and members of Grassroots Wildland Firefighters, we write to you under dire circumstances that demand immediate attention and action from our legislative and agency leaders. The federal wildland firefighting workforce is the cornerstone of our nation’s ability to build resilience against wildfires, protecting communities and landscapes effectively. Yet, their efforts are hindered by a lack of adequate support and expansion due to congressional inaction and administrative barriers.  We implore you to stop playing partisan politics and be a proactive part of helping to solve the wildfire crisis.
We urgently call upon Congress and the Executive Branch to prioritize and enhance the support for these brave wildland firefighters. They sacrifice their families, health, and well-being to protect us, a testament to their dedication and the gravity of their needs.
Immediate Actions Required:
1. Pass the Wildland Firefighter Pay Protection Act, S.2272: We implore you to bring this crucial legislation to the Senate floor for a vote and initiate its progression in the House of Representatives without delay.
2. Implement Administrative Reform: Define clear, accurate job descriptions with correct grading; provide hazard pay for hazard duties such as prescribed burns; ensure proper job classification reflects the diverse roles and extensive qualifications wildland firefighters are required to obtain.
These actions are not just administrative or legislative tasks; they are moral imperatives that safeguard the lives of those who protect us. The ongoing inaction and bureaucratic delays are unacceptable, especially as we face increased wildfire risks exacerbated by climate change and development into the wildland interface.
As we approach another summer with drought conditions in place, the time to act is now. We, along with your constituents, demand decisive action to address these critical issues. The well- being of our communities and the efficacy of our national response to wildfires hinge on your leadership and responsiveness. Only you can correct these conditions.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your swift action and resolution.

Grassroots Wildland Firefighters
– Luke Mayfield, President

National Federation of Federal Employees

– Randy Erwin, National President
U.S. Hotshot Association
– Randy Skelton, President
Wildfire Industry Collective
– Jonathon Golden, Executive Director
Fired Up
– Janelle Valentine, President
Veterans in Fire Foundation
– Blake Toth, President
Eric Marsh Foundation
– Amanda Marsh, Founder
Megafire Action
– Matt Weiner, CEO
– Shefali Lakhina, Founder

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