Feather River Hospital in Paradise, Calif., has been evacuated as thousands in the rural Northern California region flee a raging wildfire.
A total of 38 patients were transferred to other facilities Tuesday. The 46-bed hospital moved five critical-care patients early in the day, then at 8 p.m. Tuesday night decided to close the hospital, including its emergency room, and move the remaining patients to two other hospitals, officials said in a news release. Some patients also were discharged.
The hospital may reopen its emergency department by Wednesday night. The hospitals outpatient centers, hospice and home-care services in other locations remain open. Management was on site at the hospital, working with local first responders, officials said. At present, however, the hospital will not be able to admit patients long-term because smoke and ash have made air quality unsafe, said Shawna Malvini, spokeswoman for Adventist Health, the Roseville, Calif.-based not-for-profit operator of Feather River Hospital.
The Paradise region fire, dubbed the Camp Fire, is among hundreds blazing across the state, consuming nearly 1,000 square miles since late June. Lightning strikes ignited many of them, and the state is now experiencing a heat wave. -- by Rebecca Vesely