Medical staff near Redding have been scrambling to provide necessary care, some while dealing with the mandatory evacuations of their own homes in the face of the explosive Carr Fire.
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Some of their physicians and staff have also been sent to the evacuation center established at Shasta College to help fire evacuees with anxiety and smoke inhalation problems.
At Dignity Health Mercy Medical Center, one of the most sensitive operations was the transfer of six babies from the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, says Mike Mangas, a communications manager for the hospital. It can take three to four hours to prepare the babies to move.
Five babies were taken to the UC Davis Medical Center, while a sixth was transferred to Mercy San Juan. All arrived in good health and Mangas says they're doing well.
In addition, he says Mercy has seen several burn and smoke-related injuries, including 3 firefighters, but none were serious and all have now been discharged.
"We had people who work at the hospital who lost their homes," Mangas says, "but many of them still showed up for work."
The Carr Fire has burned more than 112,000 acres, destroyed more than 900 homes, and is still just 30 percent contained. Fire officials are beginning to allow residents back in some areas, while continuing mandatory evacuations in others.