Wildfire Smoke Workplace Safety & Health Rulemaking


On December 14, 2023, L&I filed the Permanent Rulemaking (CR-103P) for this rulemaking. L&I added agriculture-specific requirements into Chapter 296-307 WAC and created Chapter 296-820 WAC, Wildfire Smoke, for all other industries. These rules are effective on January 15, 2024.

This rulemaking was originally initiated in response to a petition for L&I to create rules to protect agricultural workers during wildfire smoke events.

See all the rulemaking activity for wildfire smoke on our L&I Rulemaking page.

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


Wildfire smoke exposure is increasing in frequency and intensity, presenting health risks to workers. After the historic 2020 wildfires, L&I received and accepted a petition for rulemaking on this topic. As of December 2023, there are permanent workplace safety and health rules to address exposures to PM2.5, the tiny particles in wildfire smoke. These tiny particles can reach the deepest parts of the lungs, causing serious health problems. PM2.5 is particularly dangerous for people who work outdoor jobs like construction, agriculture, and certain other industries. When they breathe in the tiny particles in smoke, it increases the risk of reduced lung function, aggravated asthma, heart failure, and even early death.

To address the hazard presented by wildfire smoke, the permanent wildfire smoke rules require employers to prepare and implement a plan to protect workers from wildfire smoke.

For more details on what is required, see the "Rule Drafts & Documents" section of this page.

Meetings & Timeline
    Rulemaking Activity for Wildfire Smoke
    Action Item Date ​
    Permanent rule effective. January 15, 2024​​
    Filed CR-103P Permanent Rulemaking ​ December 14, 2023​​
    Filed CR-102 Proposed Rulemaking.​​ May 10, 2023​​
    Filed CR-103 Emergency Rule-making Order.​​ June 1, 2022 (Expired September 29, 2022)​​
    Filed CR-103 Emergency Rule-making Order ​​ July 16, 2021 (Expired November 13, 2021)​​
    Filed CR-101 Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry ​ October 20, 2020​

    Previous meetings 

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

    Public hearing materials

    Stakeholder Meetings

    Rule Drafts & Documents

    Adopted permanent rule documents

    Filed December 14, 2023 and effective January 15, 2024.

    Proposed permanent rule documents

    Filed May 10, 2023; comments were 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

      Adopted permanent rule feedback response

      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.