SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - Santa Rosa's Sutter Hospital has re-opened after evacuating nearly 80 patients a week ago within a frantic six hours as one of the wine country wildfires crept closer to the facility. It was one of two hospitals to evacuate patients Oct. 9.
The other facility was Kaiser Permanente's Santa Rosa Medical Center, which evacuated 130 patients. Firefighters have been using water from the hospital's private water main, a system put in place during the 2014 construction of the facility for use in disasters. The six underground water tanks were designed with earthquakes in mind, but the 500,000 gallons of water has helped fight fires this last week.
Authorities say five firefighters have sustained minor injuries while battling a blaze that sprang up late Monday in the Santa Cruz mountains. Rob Sherman, assistant chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, says a firefighter slipped several dozen feet down a ravine and has face lacerations and possible wrist fracture. An inmate firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation, and three other firefighters slipped in steep terrain. Sherman says the rugged terrain has been a challenge. The fire is holding at 125 acres and evacuations of 150 homes are ongoing. The vegetation blaze was sparked by a house fire.