Government Shutdown Forces OK Firm to Lay Off Firefighters

An Oklahoma City (OK) firm that specializes in wildland firefighting and works closely with the federal government has had to lay off a dozen employees since the government shut down last week.

Chloeta Fire focuses on battling wildfires, emergency fire response, and wildfire preventions, CNN Money reports ( It’s seasonal work, and 80 percent of its business is from government contracts, mostly in the West.

Federal agencies typically contract out wildfire prevention and emergency response to private firms, said Choleta Fire owner Mike Masters. When the government shut down last Tuesday, his contracts with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and some federally funded state contracts were all frozen.

The company has lost tens of thousands of dollars in the last week alone, and if the impasse in Washington drags on much longer, Masters said there will be serious financial repercussions for his firm.

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