‘Orange skies’: Biden raising federal pay to fight wildfires

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration says it is hiring more federal firefighters — and immediately raising their pay — as officials ramp up response efforts in the face of a severe drought that’s setting the stage for another destructive summer of intense wildfires across the West. President Joe Biden announced the moves during a virtual meeting Wednesday with governors from Western states. It comes as a huge swath of the Pacific Northwest endures one of the worst heat waves in recent memory. Biden’s plan would ensure that no one fighting wildland fires is making less than $15 per hour and would add or convert to full-time nearly 1,000 firefighters across a host of agencies.