AUBURN (CBS13) – Fire crews are working overtime as climate change drives record temperatures across the region and wildfire season heats up.
“The threat of western wildfires this year is as severe as it’s ever been,” President Biden said Wednesday.READ MORE: Winds Whip Up 50-Foot Flames In Wildfire Near Grass Valley
The President announced his administration is increasing pay for federal firefighters.
Agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service control 47% of California’s land. Their firefighters’ minimum pay will now be $15 an hour.
“The federal government is going to have to have your backs and that’s my intention,” President Biden said.
But the pay increase won’t apply to state agencies like Cal Fire, which helps to control 51% of the state’s wildland and worked with local agencies to control a grass fire in Auburn on Wednesday.
The grass fire was inches from devastating an entire neighborhood. Kristen Berlant had just put her newborn baby down for a nap.READ MORE: Search On For Woman, 40, Last Seen Near Garcia Bend Park
“I heard banging and banging and banging,” she said.
Berlant’s neighbor went to tell her to get out of her house.
“I grabbed the baby out of his crib, we booked it up the driveway,” Berlant said.
The fire was quickly put under control but it could have been far worse.
“The fire literally burned to the fence and once it got to where defensible space is, there was nothing more to burn. So it helped the fire crew to really get the fire under control,” Berlant said.MORE NEWS: Woman, 49, Found Drowned At Folsom Lake After Child Reported Seeing Her Go Under
CBS13 did reach out to several federal agencies regarding the Biden Administration’s announcement. The U.S. Forest Service is not ready to comment on how they plan to roll out the pay increase or who it will apply to.