Agency head seeks pay raise for wildfire fighters hired by state

Agency head seeks payraise for wildfire fighters hired by state

1 February 2008

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USA — The head of Idaho’s state lands says its time to boost salaries forthe men and women hired by the state to battle forest fires.

George Bacon, director of the Department of Lands, made his pitch to statebudget writers Friday.

Bacon says base pay rates for firefighters hired each year by the departmentare 36% lower than wages paid by federal agencies.

He also says federal pay rates have kept pace with the cost of inflation overthe last 15 years, while state salaries have lagged.

The agency’s scale now pays entry-level wildland firefighters $7.59 per hour,compared with $11.34 paid by federal agencies. Bacon’s plan would increase statepay to $10.65 per hour.

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