Rapidly-Spreading Wildfire In California's Butte County Prompts Evacuations

All three skilled nursing facilities in Paradise, CA, have been destroyed due to a massive wildfire that has left at least 29 people dead.

Two staff members of Cypress Meadows Post-Acute were still missing as of production deadline, down from 13 on Sunday, according to the California Association of Health Facilities. Cypress Meadows, Paradise Post Acute and the Pine View Center were confirmed Monday to have been obliterated by the so-called “Camp Fire,” which started early Thursday morning and is believed to be one of the most destructive and deadly in California’s history. In addition to the confirmed dead, there are another 228 people who are still missing.

About 175 residents from the three Paradise facilities were evacuated last week. Plum Healthcare Group, the parent company of Cypress Meadows, said in a recent post that it is seeking donations to help its employees, many of whom have lost their homes to the blaze.

“The 2018 wildfires are having a devastating impact on Northern California, including many employees of Plum-affiliated facilities,” wrote Linda Rodriguez, who works in human resources with Plum. “Many employees at the Cypress Meadows Facility in Paradise, CA, lost their homes and all their belongings yesterday and are in need of our help!”

As of Monday afternoon, the campaign had raised nearly $14,000 toward its goal of $25,000.

LeadingAge California is also collecting donations for those affected by this and other fires burning in the state. Members can make donations via the organization’s website. Checks also may be sent to LeadingAge California at 1315 I Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814.

“We are monitoring the tragic events in both Butte and Ventura counties closely and are working to assist members in identifying space for evacuees,” LeadingAge California Executive Vice President Eric Dowdy told McKnight’s Senior Living.

Some senior care facilities that have evacuated have posted updates about their residents. Atria Paradise, which offers memory care and assisted living, posted photos of the residents at a hotel participating in activities.

On its Facebook page, Cypress Meadows thanked its “brave staff members” and ER techs who aided in the evacuation.

“Our hearts are broken this morning as we mourn the loss of our beautiful town. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” the company announced Friday.

McKnight’s Senior Living Editor Lois Bowers contributed to this report.