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Forest Service chief: 2021 a record 'wildfire year'

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday.... Read more»

COVID hits wildfire fighters even harder than last year

More firefighters appear to be falling ill with COVID-19 and quarantining this year than last year, the officials say, because of the highly contagious delta variant and mixed adherence to COVID-19 safety measures such as masking, vaccinations and social distancing.... Read more»

As wildfires rage, federal firefighters see bump in minimum hourly pay

Fighting wildfires did not get any easier this month, but it did get a little more profitable for thousands firefighters employed by the federal government as the departments of Agriculture and Interior bumped the minimum wage for federal firefighters up to $15 an hour.... Read more»

Senate-approved infrastructure bill would raise wildland firefighter pay

The sweeping infrastructure bill that the U.S. Senate passed on Tuesday would lay the groundwork for raising federal wildland firefighter pay, one month after Pres. Biden announced one-time raises and bonuses to ensure they earn at least $15 an hour. ... Read more»

USDA chief calls for overhaul of forest management in western states

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government needs to do a better job of forest management after viewing damage from the million-acre August Complex fire - a rare admission in an era where climate change receives the brunt of the blame for the spate of wildfires. ... Read more»

Fires continue to burn in a dry, hot West

Forecasts for high temperatures and precipitation bode ill for the American West, already in the throes of a prolonged drought and attempting to quell hundreds of large wildfires scattered across nine states. ... Read more»

Numerous fires burn even as western U.S. evades widespread devastation

Despite the inordinate number of fires burning across America’s heat-afflicted West, communities have managed to evade death and destruction so far, but experts warn conditions appear conducive to a severe fire season as the summer deepens into fall. ... Read more»

Biden administration snubs Ducey in Western wildfire meeting

Gov. Doug Ducey was one of just three Western governors that the White House didn’t invite to a meeting on wildfires that the Biden administration convened, despite the particularly nasty fire season that Arizona is currently facing.... Read more»

Excessive heat, high fuel loads in Arizona have experts predicting wildfires through fall

Fire experts say the high temperatures, combined with an increasing amount of brush drying up from the abnormally wet winter, the fire danger is high – particularly in southern Arizona, where the threat is above-average.... Read more»

Yarnell Hill Fire investigation ignored major mistakes by state

"There's usually a chain of events — things that happened that shouldn't have happened" — that contribute to fatal wildfire incidents, said a retired wildfire investigator. Another firefighter, the former chief in Yarnell, called a recent state report on the death of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots a "big cover-up."... Read more»