Dozens of wildfires raging across Washington, California, Oregon, Montana and Idaho have charred over 2.5 million acres of land so far and the rash of blazes throughout the West shows no signs of letting up.
Tens of thousands of firefighters are dealing with dry winds, hot weather and unhealthy air quality as they battle the fires. NFFE-IAM represents the majority of U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service firefighters who are on the front lines.
“Please keep all of the firefighters, law enforcement and residents in your thoughts and prayers,” said IAM Headquarters General Vice President Bob Martinez. “These dedicated men and women are fighting these fires for 16 to 18 hours each day, sometimes longer. They are risking their lives in a war to save communities and lives.”
There is little relief in sight with a lack of rain, high winds and dry lightning sparking new blazes. In the Washington State, U.S. soldiers and personnel from as far away as Australia and New Zealand have arrived to support firefighters from across and West.
“I fought wildfires for over 20 years during my career in the Forest Service and this season’s conditions are as bad as I’ve ever seen them,” said NFFE-IAM National President Bill Dougan. “As conditions worsen, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult each day for these brave men and women to do their jobs. I pray that each of them continues to be safe and continues to have the backs of their coworkers and everyone working on the fire lines. We want them all to come home to their families unharmed when this fire season is over.”
For IAM updates on the fires click here.