Flake Asks Interior Department To Expand Hiring Freeze Exemption To BLM Firefighters

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 - 1:25pm

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake asking the Interior Department to exempt the Bureau of Land Management’s seasonal firefighter program from the current federal employee hiring freeze. The move comes during the time that recruiting for fire season typically gets underway.

The BLM is one of several federal agencies that hire seasonal wildland firefighters.

Dolores Garcia is a spokesperson for the BLM. She said right now the department is proceeding as normally as possible and encouraging people who typically get hired seasonally to stay physically fit.

"While we do have firefighters available year round," Garcia said. "The peak force at this point is going to be a little limited until we can get some exemptions done."

Garcia adds the agency is prepared to begin hiring as soon as is gets approval.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already issued Flake an assurance that their firefighters will be exempt from the hiring freeze.