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.

There are 12 other wildfires in central and Northern California.

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053-a-07-(Marcy Schmidt, resident in interview)-"to bug out"-Hat Creek resident Marcy Schmidt is one of those who defied evacuation orders. COURTESY: KRCR TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *053 (08/04/14)££ 00:07 "to bug out"

051-a-10-(Roger Sleight (slyt), Hat Creek resident, in interview)-"fuel is gone"-Hat Creek resident Roger Sleight says he and his wife have been helping firefighters. COURTESY: KRCR TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *051 (08/04/14)££ 00:10 "fuel is gone"

052-a-12-(Captain Eric Oliveri, OES Strike Team, in interview)-"to this area"-OES Strike Team Captain Eric Oliveri says more fire lines have been created when air attack tankers dropped retardant and back burning operations eliminated fuels. COURTESY: KRCR TV ((mandatory on-air credit)) (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *052 (08/04/14)££ 00:12 "to this area"

080-a-07-(Sergeant John Green, Shasta County Sheriff's Office, in AP interview Sunday)-"the evacuated center"-Shasta County Sheriff's Sergeant John Green says his office has been assisting fire officials by getting people out of harm's way. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *080 (08/04/14)££ 00:07 "the evacuated center"

078-a-08-(Sergeant John Green, Shasta County Sheriff's Office, in AP interview Sunday)-"are ravine areas"-Shasta County Sheriff's Sergeant John Green says the wildfire is in a rural area. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *078 (08/04/14)££ 00:08 "are ravine areas"

079-a-10-(Sergeant John Green, Shasta County Sheriff's Office, in AP interview Sunday)-"in the area"-Shasta County Sheriff's Sergeant John Green says it's not unheard of to have wildfires in the region. (4 Aug 2014)

<<CUT *079 (08/04/14)££ 00:10 "in the area"

APPHOTO CARED201: Smoke rises from a fire in Burney, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. A pair of wildfires burning without restraint about 8 miles apart in northeast California became the focus of state and federal firefighters as authorities reported that one of the blazes had destroyed eight homes and prompted the precautionary evacuation of a small long-term care hospital. (AP Photo/Record Searchlight, Clay Duda) (3 Aug 2014)

<<APPHOTO CARED201 (08/03/14)££

APPHOTO RPLL201: This image provided by the Madera County Sheriff's Office shows fire burning in the French Fire, Sunday Aug. 3, 2014 in Madera, Calif. A pair of wildfires, including the French Fire, 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. (AP Photo/Madera County Sheriff's Office) (3 Aug 2014)

<<APPHOTO RPLL201 (08/03/14)££

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