White House to raise federal firefighter pay to $15 an hour

A firefighter works at the scene of the Bobcat Fire burning on hillsides near Monrovia Canyon Park in Monrovia, Calif., on Sept. 15, 2020.Ringo Chiu / AFP – Getty Images

 President Joe Biden is raising wages for federal firefighters to no less than $15 an hour, as the White House seeks to put a spotlight on the growing threats of wildfires and heat waves exacerbated by climate change.

At the start of wildfire season, Biden on Wednesday plans to meet with governors, Cabinet members and business leaders to discuss how the United States can better prepare for what climate scientists say is a phenomenon that will only get worse as climate change fuels more frequent extreme weather events. The meeting comes a week after Biden, during a meeting with the FEMA chief, voiced surprise and outrage over federal firefighters making just $13 per hour.

The move comes as wildfires are raging across California, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado, fueled in part by a record-shattering heat June heat wave that has sent temperatures surging well above 110 degrees in some places, subjected millions of Americans to red flag warnings and thrust the challenges of extreme weather and climate change into the forefront.

Source: NBC

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