NationalNortheast California Wildfire Destroys 8 Homes
Northeast California Wildfire Destroys 8 Homes
BURNEY, Calif. (AP) -
A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters Sunday as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital.
The two fires, among 14 burning in the state, started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest and had expanded into private property and scorched 90 square miles as of Sunday morning, up from 39 square miles a day earlier.
The more destructive of the two was threatening the town of Burney, where officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital decided to evacuate their 49-bed annex for patients with dementia and other conditions requiring skilled nursing. The patients were transferred to a hospital in Redding, about 55 miles away, the hospital reported on its website.
Evacuations also remained in effect for a community on the edge of the second fire, which was sparked by lightning Wednesday.
The two blazes were among 14 that federal, state and local fire crews were tackling on Sunday in central and Northern California, state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Dennis Mathisen said. Together, they have consumed more than 183 square miles of timber and brush left parched by the state’s extended drought, Mathisen said, adding that the coming week promises not to be any easier.
The number of fires led California Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency Saturday.