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Pay increase coming for seasonal firefighters in Montana

Boulder 2700 Fire
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 10:22:00-05

GREAT FALLS — The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) and Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Monday that the state of Montana will increase firefighter pay in order to "support, recruit, and retain the highly-qualified, highly-trained personnel who protect Montana communities and natural resources."

Seasonal firefighters in Montana will see a compensation increase of $1.70 per hour, which brings the minimum base pay to $15.50 per hour. A news release from Gianforte's office says the wage increase marks the first major pay adjustment of its kind for the seasonal firefighting workforce of Montana.

“Montana’s wildland firefighters are some of the most important and necessary personnel serving our state, especially with recent, more severe fire seasons,” Gianforte said. “This well-deserved pay increase will help ensure our wildland firefighters remain the most skilled and mission capable firefighting workforce in the region.”

The news release states that the new wage makes the state competitive and equitable with other fire protection agencies in the region.

“It is more important than ever that we modernize our firefighting workforce to effectively address the challenges we face during these unprecedented fire seasons,” said DNRC director Amanda Kaster. “I’m proud that DNRC will offer higher pay during the upcoming season to the hardworking firefighters that continue to protect Montana lives, communities, and natural resources.”

The wage increase has been implemented for the current seasonal hiring effort.