By JULIE MINDA
The Carr fire crests a hilltop less than a half mile from Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Calif., on July 26. The hospital remained open throughout the fire, though it evacuated six babies from the neonatal intensive care unit, and cancelled elective surgeries. As Catholic Health World went to press, a hospital spokesperson said the fire risk to the hospital had ended.
Since late July, a wildfire has raged near Redding in northern California, and it still was only about 50 percent contained by early August. The New York Times said it already had claimed seven lives. And, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, by Aug. 8 it had consumed about 173,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Despite personal property losses, dozens of clinicians and staff at Dignity Health North State Service Area health care facilities were continuing to come to work, providing care to fire victims and other patients.