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Blaze, smoke near Kau Hospital

June 20, 2012
The Associated Press

PAHALA, Hawaii (AP) - Big Island firefighters are battling a large brush fire that closed a hospital emergency room and required 15 patients to be evacuated.

Fire officials say heavy smoke from a wildfire that started Monday at a macadamia nut orchard required the evacuation of Kau Hospital as flames got within 75 yards away. Patients and staff were relocated to Naalehu Community Center, about 13 miles away. An estimated 2,300 acres burned as of Tuesday afternoon, with the fire still not contained.



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