More than 100 of the frailest residents of California’s largest veterans long-term care facility were evacuated this week amid concerns that rampant wildfires in the area could be detrimental to their health.
The Veterans Home of California in Yountville, CA, was not located within an evacuation zone at the time of the 137 residents’ evacuation Tuesday night. But the poor air quality caused by the fires posed a risk of complicating respiratory problems for many residents, authorities said.
Those residents who were evacuated were taken to 24 other skilled nursing facilities in the area. More than 700 residents, many of which are independent living residents, remained at the facility as of Thursday, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The fires in California’s wine country have also forced evacuations at several senior living communities, and destroyed at least one. Hospitals also were evacuated as the fires grew closer, including newborn babies and some women in labor, CNN reported.
As of production deadline on Thursday the fires had led to at least 26 deaths and destroyed more than 3,500 buildings in Northern California.