Three skilled nursing facilities have been evacuated in Paradise, CA, as a wildfire continues to decimate wide swaths of the state’s northern reaches.

One provider reported that 80% of its staff members lost their homes, according to the California Association of Health Facilities.

“The situation is devastating,” Deborah Pacyna, director of public affairs, told McKnight’s. “The town of Paradise has basically been wiped off the map.”

The so-called “Camp Fire” started around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and spread quickly due to strong winds. No cause had been reported Friday for the fire, which swept across 20,000 acres of land, destroying upward of 1,000 buildings. The death toll from the fire reportedly reached 29 as of Sunday evening.

About 175 residents from three SNFs in Paradise had been completely evacuated as of Friday, with most going to sister facilities, noted Jason Belden, disaster preparedness program manager for CAHF. At least one of those facilities sustained heavy damage, while the others are non-operational with unknown status. The anticipation is that all facilities may be burned down, and permanent relocation to other SNFs will occur within the week, Belden told McKnight’s.

Belden noted that about 80% of staffers at one SNF had lost their homes, but workers there stayed on campus to ensure residents’ safety during the disaster.

“Those folks lost everything they had, yet they stayed and made sure every resident made it out safe,” Belden said.

Acting California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Butte County last week, and the county sheriff’s office issued a mandatory evacuation order for Paradise and nearby towns. The National Weather Service also released a “red flag warning,” its highest alert, “issued for weather events which may result in extreme fire behavior that will occur within 24 hours.” In addition to the three SNFs, a hospital and distinct part/skilled nursing facility have also been evacuated, according to the California Department of Public Health. 

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