Angwin Sign
About Angwin...
Angwin is a community of about 3000 residents on Howell Mountain. We are in a coastal range of northern California, about 70 mi. north of San Francisco.
The Village ranges from 1600 to 2200 ft. elevation, overlooking the scenic Napa Valley. It is surrounded by vineyards and forests.
Many Angwin residents work for Pacific Union College, a liberal arts college with a national reputation, or the nearby St. Helena Hospital.

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Recent Articles heading
Aug 15, 2017

Recent Stories...Click to view

It's the Fire Season - Real and Scary
Smoke rising behind a vineyard
You probably wouldn't notice it at once. A thin column of white smoke rising straight up in a blue sky on the Angwin horizon. Within 15 minutes the column has flattened out and has begun to move lazily across the sky, carried by the prevailing wind.
But then it has begun a reality for us up here on Howell Mountain. In just a few minutes later, one hears the Angwin fire alarm shattering the tranquil air. And then the wail of sirens as the big red vehicles grind their way down Howell Mountain Road toward a highly visible wildfire now throwing yellow flames 30 ft. into the sky.
We have seen this phenomenon from just a few miles away. Sixty-foot tall trees exploding into flaming torches in the night sky. Scary.
It all happens so fast, and so often and sometimes so close, that Angwinites see a major wildfire begin just a few miles away which could turn and come our way. The Butts Canyon Fire in 2014 did not turn toward Angwin. Fortunately. A prevailing wind carried it 12 miles northward, all the way to Snell Valley and beyond. If the wind had turned toward Angwin, it would have carried it into the neighborhoods of this community.
This is the fire season, and a local body of community volunteerss has been organized to warn Angwin residents of the constant danger. The Angwin Reporter will contribute to this effort with a series of stories on fires which began close to Angwin or came this way. How we can protect your property from devastation and how to evacuate when the fireman says,
"No, you have to go now. Right now, Joe!"
We will run stories about four recent fires which have begun as a white column of smoke on the Angwin horizon and could have come up Howell Mountain. This is the fire season, and it is very real.

Fire on the Mountain ... "The Big One"
Is the name of a novel, a motion Picture, a song, a plant and a game played by children in South Africa.
In Angwin, however, fire on the mountain is the wail of sirens, fire trucks growling up the hill from St. Helena, and big planes flying low to drop slurry around a family home. It is the picture of firefighters battling against dangerous, primitive forces.
Old-timers say "The Big One" was in 1931. It started on Ink Grade Road and burned all the way to Eastern Avenue. The smoke blanketed the entire village.
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"The Big One" we remember was the Hanley Ranch fire in1964. It blazed 20 miles toward Santa Rosa and eight miles to the top of Rattlesnake Ridge. The college shut down and everyone who could carry a spade went to the fire line. An Angwin woman working in the radio station heard her husband's voice that his crew was surrounded by fire.
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The most recent "Big One" was the Deer Fire in 2009. It wasn't a big fire, but it came close to Angwin neighborhoods. It started at Hairpin Curve and moved rapidly up Howell Mountain Road. Residents of Sunset Drive overlooking the scene watched planes dumping retardant to stop it. And praying. James McDannald had gone to the Market and the firemen had closed his return at Four Corners. The fire had crossed Howell Mountain Road and climbed his knoll to destroy his house at the top.
2009 Deer Park fire aftermath