National

Aug 3, 2014 7:17 PM by Associated Press

Northeast California wildfires grow

BURNEY, Calif. (AP) - Two wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California are the focus of state and federal firefighters.

Authorities report that one of the blazes has 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 have expanded into private property and scorched at least 90 square miles.

The more destructive of the two is threatening the town of Burney, where officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital decided to evacuate their 49-bed skilled nursing annex. The patients were transferred to a hospital in Redding, about 55 miles away.

The Shasta County sheriff has Burney on an evacuation watch after ordering residents of three small neighboring communities to leave on Saturday night. The area is sparsely populated and authorities don't yet know how many residents are affected or if the destroyed homes were vacation houses or permanent dwellings.

Evacuations also remain in effect for a community on the edge of the second fire.

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