Wildfire Smoke Workplace Safety & Health Rulemaking

L&I received a petition and is considering adding new wildfire smoke in the workplace rules to Chapter 296-62, WAC, General Occupational Health Standards. See all the rulemaking activity for wildfire smoke on our L&I Rulemaking page.


On May 10, 2023, L&I filed the Proposed Rulemaking (CR-102) for this permanent rulemaking. Public hearings for this rulemaking are scheduled for July, 2023 (see the Meetings & Timeline tab below for more information). 

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


L&I recognizes the hazard of wildfire smoke exposure is increasing every year and is now potentially presenting important health risks to all outdoor workers including those in construction and agriculture. One other state has adopted temporary and permanent workplace safety and health rules regarding wildfire smoke.

L&I has received a petition for rulemaking on this topic as well. As suggested by a petitioner, in the midst of widespread wildfires and a global pandemic, workers continue to perform essential duties. It is imperative that significant steps be taken to ensure the protection of these workers, especially given the increasing intensity of wildfire outbreaks over the years and the likelihood that they will continue in years to come.

Wildfire smoke presents hazards that employers and workers in affected regions must understand. Smoke from wildfires contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can harm health. Proper protective equipment, exposure controls, and training are needed for employees working in wildfire regions.

Some of the issues that may be addressed are:

  • Identification of harmful exposures;
  • Communication;
  • Training and instruction;
  • Control of harmful exposures
Meetings & Timeline

Public Hearings

Public hearing materials

Public hearing locations

  • July 18, 2023 Hampton Inn by Hilton
    2010 South Assembly Road
    Spokane, Washington 99224
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 19, 2023 Red Lion Hotel Columbia Center
    1101 North Columbia Center Blvd.
    Kennewick, Washington 99336
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 20, 2023 Spring Hill Suites by Marriott
    4040 Northwest Avenue
    Bellingham, Washington 98226
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 25, 2023 Clark College at Columbia Tech Center
    18700 SE Mill Plain Blvd.
    Vancouver, Washington 98683
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 26, 2023 Department of Labor & Industries
    12806 Gateway Drive South
    Tukwila, Washington 98168
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 27, 2023 Yakima Valley College
    1704 West Nob Hill Blvd., Meeting Room 122
    Yakima, Washington 98902
    • Pre-hearing overview at 9:00 a.m.
    • Hearing at 10:00 a.m.
  • July 28, 2023 Virtual via Zoom Webinar
    • Pre-hearing overview at 1:00 p.m.
    • Hearing at 2:00 p.m.

To join electronically:
Password (if prompted): Wildfire@1
To join by phone (audio only):
253-205-0468 or 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 876 9078 6178
Passcode: 4682009778

  • July 31, 2023 Virtual via Zoom Webinar
    • 5:30 p.m. – Pre-Hearing Overview

    • 6:30 p.m. – Public Hearing 

      Virtual via Zoom Webinar
      Password (if prompted): 731#WildF
      To join by phone (audio only):
      253-215-8782 or 253-205-0468
      Meeting ID: 889 5231 2151
      Passcode: 812052858

Previous Meetings 

Open the links to see notes and information from the meeting. 

Rule Drafts & Documents

Proposed Permanent Rule Documents

Filed May 10, 2023; comments due by 5:00 p.m. on August 4, 2023.

    Emergency Rule - 2022

    Emergency Rule - 2021

    Stakeholder Drafts

    Draft Rule, October 2022

    Wildfire Smoke Rule Draft June 15, 2021

    Wildfire Smoke Rule Draft - Spanish

    The Preproposal (CR-101) was filed October 20, 2020. 

    Stakeholder Feedback

    September 2022 Draft Rule Language - Stakeholder Feedback

    August 2022 Draft Rule Language - Stakeholder Feedback

    Additional Resources

    Some of the key resources that were considered during the development of draft rule.

    • Delfino et al. (2009). The relationship of respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions to the southern California wildfires of 2003. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 66(3), 189-197.
    • Doubleday et al. (2020). Mortality associated with wildfire smoke exposure in Washington state, 2006-2017: a case-crossover study. Environmental Health 19(1).
    • Gan et al. (2017). Comparison of wildfire smoke estimation methods and associations with cardiopulmonary related hospital admissions. GeoHealth 1(3), 122-136.
    • Haikerwal et al. (2015). Impact of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) exposure during wildfires on cardiovascular health outcomes. Journal of the American Heart Association 4(7).
    • Liu et al. (2019). Ambient particulate air pollution and daily mortality in 652 cities. New England Journal of Medicine 381(8), 705-715.
    • Orellano et al. (2020). Short-term exposure to particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Environment International. 142.
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency (2019). Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter. Office of Research and Development.
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency (2020). Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter

    Staff Contacts:

    For rulemaking questions, please contact:
    Cindy Ireland Cynthia.Ireland@Lni.wa.gov or 360-791-5048.

    For Technical questions, please contact:
    Chris Pyke Christopher.Pyke@Lni.wa.gov  or 360-951-3489
    Dr. Nicholas Reul Nicholas.Reul@Lni.wa.gov  or 360-902-5963

    Get updates via email

    If you would like to receive updates regarding this proposed rulemaking project and future stakeholder meetings, please sign up for our email updates.