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Puako brush fire scorches 3 acres

  • LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today Firefighters work to douse a brush fire Thursday morning in Puako.

KAILUA-KONA — Firefighters quickly doused a small brush fire that broke out Thursday morning in South Kohala.

The fire, reported about 9 a.m. off Hoohana Street, scorched about 3 acres before Hawaii Fire Department firefighters were able to get the upper hand, according to fire officials. It was declared extinguished about 2 p.m.

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Battalion Chief John Whitman said the fire appeared to have started from a short on a Hawaii Electric Light Co. utility pole in the area. He said fire rescue personnel in South Kohala heard a loud explosion and then saw smoke. They subsequently reported it to dispatch and went to the scene.

Rhea Lee-Moku, HELCO spokeswoman, said personnel responded to the fire and are still working to determine its cause. However, she said a mynah bird appears to have contacted HELCO equipment by Hoohana Street, sparking the fire.

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One customer lost power, but it was fully restored by 1:37 p.m.

The fire did not threaten any structures; no road closures were required.