On November 2nd, a bicameral, bipartisan group of U.S. Congress Members reintroduced the Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act to address pay issues for federal firefighters. Currently, federal firefighters working for the Departments of Agriculture and Interior are subject to a pay cap for overtime hours during wildfire season, which often results in them not being compensated for their hard work. The legislation aims to waive premium pay caps for federal firefighters engaged in battling wildfires, allowing them to receive fair compensation for their efforts. The current pay cap discourages experienced firefighters from responding to wildfires, impacting federal wildfire response capabilities, especially later in the fire season.  The bill also requires the Departments of Agriculture and Interior to submit a report outlining the resources, policies, personnel changes, and investments needed to support an expanded, year-round firefighting workforce. 

The reintroduction of the Act was led by Senator Alex Padilla and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). Co-sponsors include California Representatives Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena); Jared Huffman (D-Marina); Scott Peters (D-La Jolla); Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley); Katie Porter (D-Irvine); and Colorado Representative Joe Neguse (D). Original co-sponsors include Missouri Senators Steve Daines (R) and Jon Tester (D); New Mexico Senators Ben Ray Luján (D) and Martin Heinrich (D); Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen (D); and California Assembly Members Ted Lieu (D-Torrance); Julia Brownley (D-Oakpark); Nanette Barragán (D-Hermosa Beach); Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).