3 brush fires break out along Highway 190

  • LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today

    A Hawaii County firefighter douses a brush fire off Highway 190 near mile marker 18 Friday afternoon.

KAILUA-KONA — Fireworks appear to have sparked three brush fires reported within an hour Friday that forced a road closure on Highway 190 near Puuanahulu.

The blazes were ignited at mile markers 18, 21 and 26, starting shortly after 11 a.m., according to Hawaii Fire Department officials.

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The first was put out by Stafford Lombard, who was driving by on his way to Hilo.

Fire officials say Lombard got out of his car and used a fire extinguisher. The driver of a cement mixer truck stopped to assist and smothered the remaining flames with a hose. Firefighters came and mopped up.

Soon after, the second fire was reported, which was put out by the driver of a passing Suisan truck.

Firefighters then responded to the third fire.

The fires forced the closure of Highway 190 for about an hour as crews worked to put out the flames of the largest fire near mile marker 18. The highway was reopened just before 1 p.m.

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The Hawaii Police Department said it is investigating and thinks fireworks started the blazes.

Anyone with information or who might have witnessed the fires being started is urged to call Detective Carrie Akina at 326-4646, ext. 277.

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