Two fires burning in northeast California have forced hundreds of residents to evacuate. One of the fires has destroyed eight homes in the town of Burney in Shasta County, and has also prompted the evacuation of a small long-term care hospital, according to news reports. Both fires appear to have been started by lightning. Meanwhile, in sharp contrast to the fires up north, flashflooding in southern California has left thousands of people stranded and damaged many homes.
Fire officials say the two fires are among some 14 fires now burning across central and northern California. Together, they have burned more than 183 square miles of dried out timber and brush caused by the serious drought conditions across the state.
State fire spokesperson, Dennis Mathisen, tells news outlets that California is 35% above average in the number of fires it’s seen so far this year, and is 44% above average in the amount of land burned. Much of the state remains under a red flag warning, and Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, calling for additional help in combatting the fires.
For residents who may have to evacuate, NFPA provides important tips on what to bring with you, and how to prepare your home before you leave. Check out our "before, during and after" wildfire safety page for more information.