USA – News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Gardetto
Date: September 2, 2021
Bureau of Land Management transforms wildland firefighting workforce
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Land Management is transforming its wildland firefighting
workforce due to longer, more intense fire years and the need to actively manage and reduce
fuels across a vast, more-flammable landscape caused by invasive plant establishment.
Historically, the BLM’s wildland fire workforce was seasonally based. However, a new model is
needed to address the escalating workforce needs due to climate change intensifying fire activity.
This model will also provide employees with career stability and upward mobility to promote
work-life balance and long-term careers in wildfire or resource management.
The BLM received $13 million in its 2021 fiscal year budget to begin workforce transformation,
which involves adding 76 new firefighters and support personnel who sustain the wildland fire
management mission. The BLM will also convert 428 existing seasonal positions to permanent
and/or year-round positions. Overall, the U.S. Department of the Interior received $29 million to
carry out “DOI’s Plan to Transform the Firefighting Workforce.”
“The ultimate goal of workforce transformation is to attract and retain a diverse group of quality
employees – dedicated people who will not only help manage fires and fuels in support of
BLM’s multiple-use mission, but who have the potential to become the Bureau’s future leaders,”
said BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs Nada Culver. “Our people are our most
important resource, and this workforce transformation effort will result in more career
opportunities and benefits for our wildland firefighters – those who work hard to keep the public
safe and to protect our public lands.”
All wildland fire positions are being created or transformed in an effort to support suppression
and fuels responsibilities in line with the Biden-Harris administration’s priorities. The BLM Fire
program is planning to continue this transformation effort next fiscal year and beyond in hopes
of fully transforming its workforce in the coming years.
“As a nation, we are coming to grips with the effects of climate change