By Elise Viebeck - 07/11/12 02:38 PM EDT
But as recent blazes in Colorado have seized national attention, so has the firefighters' lack of health coverage — as "temporary" employees, they do not receive insurance.
A petition on Change.org from federal fireman John Lauer asked President Obama to give crews optional health benefit plans.
The petition declared "victory" as of Tuesday. It had 126,597 signatures at the time of this post.
Lauer's letter to Obama states that firefighting conditions have been linked to cancer and permanent lung damage resulting from respiratory diseases.
"It's a huge deal, and there's going to be a lot of really, really happy firefighters out there tonight," he said of Obama's response in an interview with Reuters. "I'm sure they're all very thankful for what the president's done."
Obama surveyed fire damage in Colorado at the end of June. On Tuesday, so did Mitt Romney. The presumptive GOP presidential candidate urged Americans to help the area recover by vacationing there.