The new University of Oregon wildfires response resource webpage and the UO Alerts blog are the primary sources of information related to any impact the wildfires and air quality situations have on university and its community members.
“The horrendous wildfires affecting the entire West Coast and most especially the one in our own backyard must seem to some of you like the final straw,” wrote UO President Michael Schill in a message to campus. “The wildfires have quite literally taken away the lives and homes of our neighbors and, at least temporarily, even our precious sunshine and crisp, clean air.”
The UO website includes the latest announcements, link to the UO Alerts blog, resources specific to employees and students, as well as links to official information from local agency partners about evacuation information, air quality, wildfires and travel. The UO Alerts blog provides important notices issued to UO community members about operational status and other emergency-related notifications. The Incident Management Team will continue to monitor the situation and updates to these web resources will be made as necessary.
Official communication of any changes to the university’s operations, including closure, cancellation or delayed start decisions is sent through UO Alerts texts and emails. To receive UO Alerts text messages in all emergencies, including the current wildfire situation, employees and students should make sure current mobile numbers are activated. Manage UO Alerts at duckweb.uoregon.edu.
“Our UO community continues to navigate the impact of the wildfires that began last week. Whether directly or indirectly, the wildfires have affected us all and our thoughts and support go out to our UO family, particularly those who have been evacuated and those who have incurred loss,” said Mark Schmelz, chief human resources officer.
Employees and students directly affected by wildfire evacuation orders can access university support and resources through the UO contact form.
“Our community was already feeling stressed and anxious from the impacts of the pandemic, and the current situation created by the wildfires exacerbates those feelings,” Schmelz said. “Please continue to prioritize taking care of yourselves and looking out for one another.”
Students can access counseling support through University Health Services; Cascade Centers, the university’s employee assistance program provider, offers services and support for benefits-eligible employees.
Human resources provides guidance for employees and supervisors to address issues related to air quality and wildfire smoke.