OPM has authorized an emergency leave transfer program for federal employees affected by the California wildfires that began in December, adding that the fires constitute an emergency separate from the one arising from the wildfires that started elsewhere in that state in October and for which a leave transfer program previously was established.

Agencies with employees adversely affected by the wildfires are to determine whether, and how much, donated annual leave is needed by their employees and which of their employees have been adversely affected by the emergency within the meaning of OPM regulations, a memo said.

“Please note that the ELTP program is administered by agencies with affected employees, it is not administered by OPM.  Agencies should inform employees who wish to participate in the ELTP to contact their servicing human resources office. Agencies with employees who wish to become leave donors must contact their agency headquarters to learn if there are severely adversely affected employees within their agency who need donated annual leave,” it said.

“OPM only solicits donations of annual leave in the very rare case where an agency does not receive sufficient amounts of donated leave internally to meet the needs of affected employees. Should this become necessary, OPM will send out information to agency headquarters human resources offices for dissemination,” it added.

The authority is the latest of a series in recent months related not only to the wildfires but to a string of hurricanes affecting the Gulf Coast, Southeast and Caribbean. OPM also referred agencies to guidance it issued in November regarding operating multiple programs–which ordinarily are rare–at the same time.