IN BRIEF: A Busy Summer for Firefighters

Firefighter stands on top of fire truck
Brush Truck 34 at a fire in the summer of 2019.


Wildfire duty: 3,740 hours in 3 months

A September full of requests to help with wildfires made 2020 one of the busiest summers yet for the UC Davis Fire Department, according to data analyzed by senior budget analyst Amber Ofiesh, in the Finance, Operations and Administration Business Partners group.

Full data from this year’s fire season is not yet available, but from July through September, campus firefighters spent 3,740 work hours fighting blazes like the LNU Lightning Complex Fire that spanned several North Bay counties, the Zogg Fire near Redding and more.

In fact, four-person strike teams were away from campus continuously from Sept. 8 through Oct. 7, making it the busiest September over the past four years, for which detailed data is available.

Over that same time period, 2020 is second only to 2018 in terms of strike team hours worked from July through September. That year, firefighters spent 4,710 hours deployed to wildfires. In 2019, strike teams were deployed for 432 hours from July through September.

The state reimburses the campus for the time firefighters spend on strike teams, and Ofiesh analyzes their work hours to project the department’s budget.

— Cody Kitaura

Aggie Square public forum

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Register for the forum here. For language translation or special accommodation, send an email to A recording of the forum will be made available to the public.

Chancellor joins ACE board

Chancellor Gary S. May will take a seat next year on the board of directors of the American Council on Education, or ACE, the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities.

Chancellor Gary S. May headshot

May will serve as a designated member representing the Association of American Universities, in a three-year term starting in March. He succeeds UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman as the board’s designated AAU representative..

ACE announced its new board last week at the conclusion of a remote membership meeting. The membership elected the following officers: Ronald A. Crutcher, president of the University of Richmond, chair; Michael Rao, president of Virginia Commonwealth University, vice chair; and Linda A. Livingstone, president of Baylor University, secretary.

Ted Mitchell, president, said in a news release: “ACE’s mission of leading advocacy efforts that shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practices to help colleges and universities best serve their students, communities, and the wider public good has never been more vital. We value the commitment of these leaders to help us fulfill this mission.”

UCPath: W-2s and phone appointments

UC’s payroll and personnel center has issued year-end tax and payroll notices and announced a new feature: phone appointments.

  • Prepare for W-2 forms — UCPath is asking employees to take certain steps by Jan. 15 to help the center ensure accuracy in the production and delivery of W-2 forms for 2020. Employees should review and update, if necessary, their email and home addresses; verify dependents; and review and change, if desired, how they wish to receive their W-2s (in the UCPath portal or by U.S. mail). Read UCPath’s compete notice, including information for international workers.
  • Earned Income Tax Credits — Every W-2 will come with information about the federal government’s Earned Income Tax Credit, a benefit for working people with low to moderate incomes. UCPath also advises employees they may be eligible for California’s Earned income Tax Credit. Read more in this UCPath notice.
  • Claiming exemption from withholding — Employees wishing to claim exemption from tax withholding in 2021 must make this choice in UCPath before Feb. 15. The Internal Revenue Service requires new W-4 forms annually for this exemption.
  • New: Phone appointments — All employees can schedule phone appointments with UCPath for assistance with submitted inquiries. One-hour appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday. More information is available here.

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