Agencies boost efforts to stop wildland firefighter suicides

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal wildland firefighting authorities are increasing mental health resources following an apparent increase in firefighter suicides in recent years.

Officials at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise say it’s difficult to track the number of suicides because many federal agencies can’t tally fatalities outside of work hours and some families don’t want the cause released.

But officials say there appears to be a jump in known suicides, so efforts are being boosted to get wildland firefighters help.

Experts say the high-intensity camaraderie of the wildfire season can be followed by months of isolation in the offseason and sometimes money concerns without a steady paycheck.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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