They work the front lines of the nation's most explosive wildfires, navigating treacherous terrain, dense walls of smoke and tall curtains of flame. Yet thousands of the nation's seasonal firefighters have no health insurance for themselves or their families.
Many firefighters are now asking to buy into a federal government
health plan, largely out of anger over a colleague who was left with a
$70,000 hospital bill after his son was born prematurely.
Their request has been bolstered by more than 125,000 signatures
gathered in an online petition during this year's historic fire season
in the West and the ongoing national debate over health care.