Outdoor Air Quality

Nearby wildfires and some weather situations can result in poor air quality in the Willamette Valley. When this occurs, the university monitors local air quality to assess impact on operations.

Smoke may affect indoor air quality and HVAC systems. 

People with asthma or other serious medical concerns should work directly with supervisors to find appropriate remedies. Anyone experiencing health issues in the workplace related to air quality should also notify their supervisors. Supervisors will share mitigation steps and safety precautions with employees who typically work outdoors. 

Employees who are unable to report to work due to weather or personal circumstances should coordinate with their supervisors and may use accrued vacation, compensatory time, exchange time, personal leave, or leave without pay to cover the missed work time, if applicable. Use of accrued sick leave is appropriate only in the case of illness.

Local smoke can be so extreme that some UO air handling systems interpret it as a building fire. These systems are performing as designed, and shut down building air circulation. UO employees monitor and adjust the systems to compensate, and resources are concentrated to buildings with senstive equipment, laboratories, and animals.

Anyone who hears a building alarm should evacuate immediately, even if the cause may be wildfire smoke.

For more information on real time air quality, visit the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency website.  

For more information on reducing the health effects of wildfire smoke, please visit the Oregon OSHA website.

The university has developed program guidance for campus groups that sponsor outdoor activities during times when air quality is degraded. 


Steve Stuckmeyer, EHS Director (P) 541-346-3197 stuckmyr@uoregon.edu