Emergency crews evacuate hospital as California wildfire closes in after burning down 800 acres

Air units and firefighters from multiple counties take part in response to blaze burning at a ‘dangerous rate of speed’

Chris Riotta
New York
Sunday 27 September 2020 18:39 BST
Family drives through "Fire Tornado" in Solimar, California
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A hospital in California has been evacuated as a wildfire that burned an estimated 800 acres in the Napa Valley region began closing in on the area, as ambulances rushed patients out of the building.

The St. Helena hospital, a 151-bed facility in Napa County, was forced to evacuate as the rapidly spreading fire continued to burn down buildings and homes on Sunday morning.

Air units and officials from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and San Ramon Valley Fire Department were reportedly called in to assist with the wildfires in Napa County, which have become dubbed the Glass Fire.

Both fire departments also sent ambulance strike teams to assist with the hospital evacuation efforts, according to SFGate.

Officials said the blaze was burning at a “dangerous rate of speed” and announced evacuation orders throughout the community of Deer Park, where the hospital was located, and several other areas on Sunday.

The Adventist Health Hospital previously confirmed in a statement to NBC News “emergency contacts will be notified if their loved one is being transferred” due to the Glass Fire.

The hospital had instructed patients and staff to shelter in place before the evacuations orders were announced. 

Mandatory evacuations orders were also announced by the Napa County Sheriff’s Office in all of Crystal Springs and North Fork Crystal Springs roads, as well as several other stretches of land, including the Silverado Trail. The area is well-know for its popoular wineries and vineyards.

The National Weather Service has meanwhile put all of northern California under a red-flag warning.

The state was expected to face severe fire weather conditions that could further jeopardize homes and buildings amid low humidity and strong winds coming from the northeast. 

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