Agency head seeks pay raise for wildfire fighters hired by state

Boise, ID


By Gina Jameson


BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ The head of Idaho's state lands says its
time to boost salaries for the men and women hired by the state to
battle forest fires.

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

Bacon says base pay rates for firefighters hired each year by
the department are 36 percent lower than wages paid by federal

He also says federal pay rates have kept pace with the cost of
inflation over the 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 state pay to $10.65 per hour.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-02-01-08 1113MST<

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