US to bolster firefighter ranks as wildfires burn year-round

Colorado Wildfires
Smoke rises from mountain ridges while a sign warns of fire danger as a wildfire burns Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, near Fraser, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. wildfire managers have started shifting from seasonal to full-time firefighting crews to deal with what has become a year-round wildfire season as climate change makes the American West warmer and drier.

The crews also could remove brush and other hazardous fuels when not battling blazes.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Thursday that it’s adding 76 firefighters and support personnel to its firefighting workforce of 3,400 people. Additionally, 428 firefighters will change from part-time seasonal work to either full-time seasonal or permanent work with health and retirement benefits.

It comes as climate change is making weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

Categories: National News