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Puunene Brush Fire Ruled Accidental

At 2:25 p.m. on Thursday, fire crews responded to a reported brush fire near the Puunene Post Office on Hansen Road.

Callers reported hearing a loud explosion followed by a fire starting in the brush.

Firefighters arrived 2:34 p.m. and found two small fires burning in the brush 150 yards off of Hansen Road across from the post office. The larger fire covered a 20 x 60 foot area. A guy wire from a utility pole was seen laying over an electrical power line near the fire.

Crews had the fire under control by 2:50 p.m. and extinguished at 3:22 p.m. There were no injuries and no structures were threatened.

The fire was determined accidental, and was caused after a utility pole guy wire broke off and contacted the nearby power line. The brush below the power line likely caught on fire after the ensuing electrical arca showered hot sparks below.

A battalion chief and hazardous materials crew from Kahului were first on scene. An engine and water tanker from Wailuku and Wailea also assisted.

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