Emergency Preparedness: Ensuring Employee Protection Amid ‘Wildfire Season’

September 22, 2022 | From HRCalifornia Extra

by Mike McCluskey, Senior Technical Editor, CalChamber

Following California’s worst two wildfire seasons in 2020 and 2021, the 2022 fire season is showing no signs of letting up, despite the recent rainfall.

As of September 21, 2022, 6,465 fires have killed nine people and destroyed or damaged 876 structures. And we’re now in the midst of the most vulnerable months — September and October typically experience increased wildfires due to the intensified winds. Also as of September 21, 11 wildfires were simultaneously burning, and the Northern California Mosquito Fire was deemed the largest in 2022 with nearly 76,300 miles burned.  

Ultimately, the term “wildfire season” is becoming obsolete, as fires now burn nearly year-round, such as the Colorado Fire in Monterey County and the Airport Fire in Inyo County that wrought havoc in January and February, respectively.

Employers in the state must adapt to this new normal by planning ahead for emergencies, including implementing measures that not only help protect employees from fires and smoke, but also ensure they’re being properly paid and are allowed to take leaves of absences when appropriate.

  • ​​


    This premium content is for our members. For immediate access, join online or by phone at 800-331-8877. Or Start a Free Trial Now for 7 days.

    Already a Member? Sign In Below.

Sign In
Remember Email