Skip to main content
You are here

UPDATED: PG&E’s Weekend Shutoff Spares Campus Firefighters Join Fight Against Wind-Stoked Kincade Fire, Save Several Homes on Day 1

By Cody Kitaura/Dateline on October 27, 2019 in University

Updated: 12:45 p.m. Oct. 27: The main campus and environs have retained power this weekend amid Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s public safety power shutoff elsewhere in Northern California.

In a WarnMe message today, UC Davis advised: "Exercise caution as high winds, power outages and fallen tree limbs have been reported in Davis. UC Davis is monitoring conditions, will provide a status update at 6 p.m. via WarnMe and here."

Campus firefighters had a busy night Saturday (Oct. 26) helping in the city with power lines that came down with the wind, Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht said.

Four other campus firefighters are at work on the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. “Brush 34 is headed out this morning assigned to the Delta Division,” Trauernicht said. “Not a good situation transpiring. Hopefully the winds subside this evening.”

Firefighter stands atop Brush Truck 34, smoke billowing behind.
Structure protection: UC Davis’ Brush Truck 34 at the Kincade Fire.

Updated 5 p.m. Oct. 26: Campus Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht reported that the Yolo strike team, including a UC Davis crew aboard Brush Truck 34, saved several homes Friday (Oct. 25)  in the Kincade Fire.

“For those watching the news last night, you may have heard about a fire shelter deployment and burn-over of some firefighters and civilians,” Trauernicht said. “It was NOT our strike team, but it was in the same division of the fire that our crews were assigned to.

“Lots of extreme and unpredictable fire behavior occurred in the late afternoon/early evening yesterday.”

Trauernicht also noted the possibility of smoke from the fire drifting over the campus. He said the firehouse was fully staffed, prepared to respond to odor investigations and worried folks in general.


UC Davis is not in the area being eyed by PG&E for a potential wind-related power shutoff this weekend, and is joining the fight to help areas that are affected by a wind-stoked fire.

The so-called public safety power shutoff, or PSPS, is planned for Saturday (Oct. 26) and was not expected to include the main UC Davis campus or surrounding areas. However, conditions could change. If they do, UC Davis officials will notify the campus community through WarnMe and other channels.

Information on how the power shutoffs and wafting wildfire smoke could affect your workday — and what you can do now to be prepared — is available on the university's Wildfire Season Weather Impacts website.

It is possible that the city of Davis and surrounding areas could lose power while UC Davis’ main campus is not affected. City and county notifications are available at the following links:

See the online PG&E Safety and Alert Center for the latest updates, plus the utility's PSPS address-lookup tool and PSPS area map.

Campus firefighters deploy to Sonoma County

Meanwhile, strong winds are stoking a fire in Sonoma County, and campus firefighters were en route this morning (Oct. 25) as part of a Yolo County team tasked with combating it.

Brush Truck 34 leaving the UC Davis Fire station.
Firefighters from around Yolo County met at the UC Davis fire station this morning (Oct. 25) before heading out to the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. (Meghan Scannell/UC Davis)

The Kincade Fire, which CalFire said this morning had grown to nearly 22,000 acres and was only 5 percent contained, was sparked Wednesday night (Oct. 23) near Geyserville.

The campus team, aboard Brush Truck 34, comprises Capt. Kyle Dubs, engineer Ryan Tooley, and firefighters Meggie Elledge and Jon Poganski.

Strong winds have fueled the Kincade Fire and led the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning in the area this weekend.

“This event looks to be the strongest of this year and since the 2017 Wine Country fires,” the National Weather Service’s San Francisco office said. “This will be a long-duration and potentially extreme wind event across the North Bay. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.”

Some parts of Sonoma County near the fire are without power, and could be impacted by the forthcoming power shutoff.

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Categories