This study estimates the overall percentage difference in total personnel compensation between the current pay system for forest fire suppression and a system of 24-hour pay, where employees are paid their regular rate of pay for 24 hours per day while on fire duty. Using a random sample of USDA Forest Service employees, divided among fire types, pay grades, and job types, we simulated the effect of 24-hour pay by recalculating pay from actual pay records. We also investigated how changes in shift length (the number of hours worked in a 24-hour period) and hazard pay rates would affect compensation and how changing the pay system would affect different types of employees. Findings show that changing to a system of 24-hour pay would result in a substantial increase in salary costs. Restricting shift length to 12 or 14 hours further increases salary costs under 24-hour pay, as does the addition of hazard pay. In addition, increased employee compensation under 24-hour pay is unevenly distributed among job categories and pay grades.