Wildfire and Air Quality FAQ

The following is intended to assist Washington State University faculty and staff with impacts due to the current wildfires in our areas throughout Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Q: What options are available if a faculty or staff member has a health related issue due to fire, smoke or poor air quality?

A: Faculty or staff who self-identify they are impacted by smoke or poor air quality, may request alternate work assignments or request leave using normal procedures.

Employees who indicate they have medical conditions impacting their ability to perform any duties of their position may be required to provide medical certification to Human Resource Services (HRS) per normal processes. Contact HRS regarding medical leave and reasonable accommodation policies and procedures.

Q: What leave is available to employees who may have their work location impacted by fire or smoke?

A: WSU Facility:

If a WSU facility is closed due to fire or smoke the following applies: leave due to suspended operations or emergency closures.

  • Employees should refer to 50.40, 60.57, and WAC 357-31-260 regarding suspended operations and emergency closures.
  • The appropriate manager in an employee’s supervisory chain may authorize the employee to work from home during a period of suspended operations.**
  • Additional information can be found on the FAQs for Suspended Operations.

A: Non-WSU Facility

  • If an employee’s work location is in a non-WSU facility and the non-WSU facility is closed the employee may request of their manager the use of leave or an alternative work location including teleworking.**

**NOTE: A temporary telework arrangement is not required to accommodate work from home (or an alternative work location) during a period of suspended operations. (See 60.34.)

Q: I would like to volunteer to help fight the wildfires. What leave options are available?

A: With pre-approval from their manager, employees may request time off and request the use of annual leave, compensatory time or leave without pay to participate in the event.

Q: Other than volunteering, what can I do to help?

A: Combined Fund Drive Wildfire Relief Campaign has recently been established and the Red Cross is also accepting donations.

For more information on donating:

Employee Resources

Air Quality Resources

For more information, please contact Human Resource Services at 509-335-4521, or at hrs@wsu.edu.

For more information on wildfires and air quality in Washington visit the WSU Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Washington State University