A newly established National Wildland Firefighter Day (July 2) recognizes the dedication of wildland firefighters, including federal, state, local, rural, contract, and support personnel. The selected date is especially meaningful as it occurs during the Week of Remembrance, which is held annually June 30 to July 6, and serves as an opportunity to renew our commitment to wildland firefighter safety as we remember those who have fallen in the line of duty.
National Wildland Firefighter Day is designed to recognize the hard work and devotion of all wildland firefighters and support personnel who are the backbone of the wildland fire community. These men and women work to save lives, property, infrastructure and precious natural and cultural resources every year, and we are incredibly thankful for their professional skills and efforts.
The National Wildland Firefighter Day was also created to support The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) efforts to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for DOI and USDA Wildland Fire Management programs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides significant funding to expand a workforce reform initiative designed to further reinforce wildland fire management staff.
Over the next five years, the Interior and Agriculture Departments will receive $8 billion to fund forest and land management activities, including $600 million for firefighter pay – providing about 1,500 additional firefighters and supporting President Biden’s commitment that no federal firefighter will make less than $15 an hour. The Law also provides for critical wildland firefighter workforce improvements, ranging from a new wildland firefighter classification series to mental health support, and improved compensation to additional training.