A decision by newly elected President Trump to freeze all federal government hiring has Forest Service employees wondering if they will be able to bring in emergency help during fire-fighting season, reports the Missoulian.
On Monday, Trump issued an order stating, “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.”
“The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary,” the order continued.
According to National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) Council President Melissa Baumann, Trump’s decision may make the Forest Service’s job tough with hiring for permanent firefighting positions beginning next week at job fairs.
“We all had a hard time just trying to get hold of the executive order itself yesterday,” Baumann explained. “We’re waiting to see where the chips fall.”
Baumann added that the Forest Service hired about 11,000 seasonal workers in 2015, with at least 6,200 of those being firefighters or having firefighting-related duties. Additionally, many were hired as trail maintenance workers and forest rangers.
“By the time you get your undersecretary and all those people in place, you’re 60 to 90 days behind the scene and off schedule,” Duran explained. “I’m pretty sure they’ll give a (public safety) exemption, but you still won’t be able to staff up in a timely manner. In California, firefighting is already year-round. And in most other places, it’s getting year-round, too.”
According to Wildfire Today, “from the mid-1980s through 2015 the average number of acres burned has grown from about 2 million acres a year to around 8 million.”
This bit of governmental idiocy will not only put the populace, land, and wildlife at risk, it will put firefighters at risk as well. I have no doubt this will have a very negative and potentially dangerous effect on other important public sector jobs. Places all over are being ravaged by weather, and the additional disasters they bring, and that fucking idiot Donny can’t deal with those, either, as Mississippi is still waiting for emergency relief and assistance from the Twaddler-in-Chief, having been hit by severe storms, tornadoes, and floods. Naturally, Donny promised to “expedite the recovery process”, but so far, hasn’t done shit. You’re on your own, people.