Pay Raise for Wildland Firefighters

Dear Friend,

For months, I’ve been pushing to implement a pay raise and more support for our wildland firefighter workforce. These brave men and women are battling historic fires in New Mexico and are on the frontlines of the climate crisis across the West. That’s why I was so pleased to welcome the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement today that the federal government will increase pay, create new mental wellness and health supports, and establish a new wildland fire management job series for federal firefighters.

This pay raise and new support for our firefighter workforce was made possible by provisions that I worked hard to secure in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Infrastructure Law also included major support for critical forest management and restoration programs that help to reduce severe wildfires and protect watersheds in New Mexico.

During his recent visit to New Mexico, President Biden announced that the federal government will cover 100% of the Major Disaster Declaration assistance for the families and communities impacted by the wildfires burning in New Mexico. Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will cover 100% of the costs through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program for debris removal and other measures to address watershed impairments and prepare for the flooding disasters that often follow wildfires.

With the President’s Major Disaster Declaration, critical help is now available. If you or your family have been impacted, I encourage you to please call 1-800-621-3362 or apply online at http://disasterassistance.gov to begin the process of applying for Disaster Survivor Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For trusted information and the latest updates on wildfires in New Mexico, I encourage you to continue to monitor NMFireInfo.com. If you need support identifying shelter or other resources, you can call the State Fire Resource Hotline at 1-800-432-2080.

If there is any way that I can be of assistance to you or your family, please call my office at (505) 346-6601. I will continue to do everything possible to support the effort to fight the wildfires burning today, rebuild in the aftermath, and mitigate future devastation.

Sincerely,

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MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator