In Fairbanks, Alaska, the US Forest Service is looking to hire a smokejumper, a person who parachutes out of a rickety airplane to wrangle wildfires that break out far from roads or rivers. Little experience is necessary; the pay starts at $18.06 per hour.

Meanwhile, Sadler’s Home Furnishings, with three stores in the Fairbanks area, is offering $21 an hour to shuffle couches in its warehouse. The Best Western on the nearby Chena River will pay $15.50 an hour for a front desk clerk and the University of Alaska needs an administrative assistant at almost $25 an hour — no parachute necessary.

Wage tensions familiar to US restaurants, retailers, schools, hospitals and auto workers are also hitting wildland firefighting, arguably at

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