California behavioral health hospital burns down as wildfires spread

A wildfire in Southern California forced more than 27,000 residents in the region to flee their homes Tuesday as the blaze continued to spread due to strong winds, according to CNN.

The large fire, known as the Thomas Fire, started Monday night, burning 150 buildings. Among the structures destroyed were many homes and the Vista del Mar Hospital, an 82-bed behavioral health hospital in Ventura, Calif. Richard Macklin, Ventura County fire engineer, said the hospital was evacuated about two hours before it burned, according to the report.

Ventura-based Community Memorial Health System has several facilities in the area affected by the fire. As of Tuesday evening, the health system said Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and Ojai (Calif.) Valley Community Hospital were "safe and secure," and evacuations had not been initiated. "There is fire activity in the area that may continue to impact the roads in and out of Ojai Valley," the health system said.

Although CMHS' hospitals remain open, the system said several of its health centers and clinics are closed. The system encouraged patients with upcoming appointments to contact their provider.

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