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10 people evacuate as Maui brush fire grows to 2,500 acres

Ten people evacuated their homes Tuesday as firefighters battled a blaze that has already scorched 5,500 acres of rural Maui.

The fire started at about 5:40 p.m. Monday, Maui County Fire Services Officer Ed Taomoto said. Taomoto said 10 residents from Kahikinui homesteads evacuated, while 10 others chose to remain in their homes. One resident was evacuated by helicopter Tuesday afternoon as the fire approached her home. Officials said that the house had not yet been affected by the fire.

The American Red Cross opened the Keokea Community Center on Tuesday as a shelter for evacuees.

Three county helicopters dumped water on the flames. State forestry crews worked in tandem with county workers, bulldozing fire breaks. Workers from the Haleakala, Ulupalakua and Kaupo ranches assisted in the effort.

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