National

Aug 4, 2014 7:08 AM by Bethany Rhodes

Northeast California wildfire destroys 8 homes

BURNEY, Calif. (AP) - Two wildfires burning about 8 miles apart in northeast California have become the focus of state and federal firefighters.

Authorities say one of the blazes has destroyed eight homes and has prompted the evacuation of a small long-term care hospital.

The fires started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest and had expanded into private property and scorched nearly 95 square miles as of Sunday evening, up from 39 square miles a day earlier.

The more destructive fire of the two is 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.

Evacuations also remain in effect for a community on the edge of the second fire, which was sparked by lightning Wednesday. Officials say about 40 homes are at risk.

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