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Wildfire emergency in California, Report
Wildfire emergency in California, Report

Wildfire emergency in California, Report

California Governor Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency Saturday due to more than a dozen wildfires damaging homes and forcing evacuations. The state is no stranger to wildfires, where severe drought has increased fire danger.

Authorities say a wildfire in northeast California that nearly quadrupled in size over the weekend has destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital.

U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Linda Tiffin says the fire burning in and around Lassen National Forest near the town of Burney had torched 36 square miles as of Sunday morning, up from 11 square miles a day earlier. The fire started Thursday and was not contained at all Sunday afternoon.

Officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital say they are evacuating their 49-bed annex in Burney and moving patients to a hospital in Redding, in case the flames get closer. The hospital’s website says the annex serves patients with dementia and other conditions requiring skilled nursing services.

Residents of three small neighboring communities already have been ordered to evacuate.

The El Portal Fire outside of Yosemite is now 89% contained and has burned 4,689 acres, but cost $9 million.

According to South Tahoe Now, Cal Fire reports that while this year has seen more fires than 2013, less acreage has burned. Through July 26, 3,616 fires have been reported in the state with 40,236 acres burned. During the same period last year there were 3,035 fires burning 67,980 acres.


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