The Press Democrat today received the Pulitzer Prize, the highest award in American journalism, for its coverage of the October wildfires.

The newspaper was honored in the category of Breaking News for its online and print coverage of the most devastating wildfires in California history.

“This is such a proud day for our newsroom. In the dead of night and without warning, California’s most destructive wildfires blew into our community last fall and burned thousands of homes in a few hours. This staff headed directly toward the flames to bring a powerful and continual telling of this story, even as they sent their families to safety. So many of our friends, families, neighbors and co-workers lost their homes and so much more on that October night. While we celebrate today with journalism’s highest prize, we keep them in our hearts. And we will continue to tell their stories in our news report,” Executive Editor Catherine Barnett said.

It is the second Pulitzer awarded to The Press Democrat. The newspaper won the award for Spot News Photography in 1997 for a photo by Annie Wells of a firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters.

The Press Democrat is owned by Sonoma Media Investments, which owns the Argus-Courier.

The winners were revealed Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City.

The Pulitzer Prizes recognize the best journalism in newspapers, magazines and websites. There are 14 categories for reporting, photography, criticism and commentary.

In the arts, prizes are awarded in seven categories, including fiction, drama and music.

See Press Democrat videos from the wildfires here: