On October 10, the PUC campus was threatened by a wildfire that tore across Howell Mountain. Started by a small vehicle fire at the hairpin turn, the flames moved from short grass to a tree in approximately 10 seconds, at which point the winds did as had been promised by local meteorologists and carried the fire quickly along the terrain.
The fire burned approximately 300 acres and destroyed 2 structures (one home and one outbuilding). It was under control by Sunday morning, October 12.
Because the winds were moving east, the PUC campus was kept out of immediate danger. Two firefighter injuries were reported.
PUC and the surrounding communities are very appreciative of the work of those firefighters and emergency crews that were on the front line, in danger, to prevent devastation to so many. According to the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) website at the peak of the fire there were 1,569 personnel, 146 engines, 47 crews, 16 bulldozers, 10 water tenders and 4 helicopters. AVFD was responsible for providing 10 personnel, 3 engines and 1 water tender to help in the fight.
On October 16, at the weekly campus colloquy, the PUC campus gave a special thanks to the AVFD, many of whom are faculty, staff, students, alumni or friends of the college. Nancy Lecourt, vice president for academic administration, gave special recognition to the following Angwin firefighters the College's faculty, staff and students gave them a standing ovation.
Forrest Hasso , Apparatus Operator; Tyler Cantrell, PUC Student; Nathaniel Garcia, PUC student; Michael Ha, PUC student; Justin Pope, PUC student; Jeremy Thomas, PUC students; Captain Troy Peterson, Emergency Services Program Instructor & BSN Student; Lieutenant James Robertson, Assistant Professor of Physics; Deputy Chief Ken Trumble; Captain Sean Westenrider, ’95, Chief of Public Safety; Captain Quentin White, PUC Parent; J.R. Rogers, ’07, Webmaster (J.R. was fire-fighting down South at the time, but maintained AVFD's web site, and other communications).