During a hearing today before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee a number of issues important to federal wildland firefighters were discussed. The two witnesses from the agencies were John Crockett, Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry, Forest Service, and Jeff Rupert, Director of the Office of Wildland Fire for the Department of the Interior.
We don’t have time to get into the details, but here are the points at which some key topics were covered in the video above, which shows the entire hearing:
- 45:19. Three-day break in service which can result in a firefighter (FF) losing eligibility for FF retirement.
- 49:50. Forest Service counting the same acres of fuel treatments multiple times.
- 54:47. FF mental health.
- 1:00:00. Protecting Giant Sequoias from fire during their 3,000-year life span.
- 1:06:30. How many firefighting aircraft do the agencies have?
- 1:22:20. FF pay, and a long term solution.
- 1:27:50 and again at 1:37:30. A possible new requirement for air tankers to have pressurized cabins.
- 1:33:45. Why have the agencies not accomplished more acres of fuel treatments?
The Grassroots Wildland Firefighters clipped portions of the hearing, as you’ll see in the short videos below.
Senator Murkowski asks the USFS and DOI about long-term pay for Federal Wildland Firefighters:
Senator Heinrich asks the DOI what they are doing for Firefighter Mental Health:
Forest Service and DOI Respond to Three-Day Break In Service Issue for Wildland Firefighters: