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Stormy conditions sparked Nanakuli blaze


    Honolulu police temporarily closed Farrington Highway today because of a brush fire behind Kahe Power Plant at midday today.

A brush fire that burned 275 acres today and came as close as 10 feet to homes near Kahe Power Plant was started by an arc from stormy conditions caused by former Hurricane Lane.

Fifty-four firefighters with 14 units responded to the fire and brought it under control by 7:23 p.m. with help from federal firefighters, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Scot Seguirant.

He said the arc was caused by wire contact at the power plant due to storm conditions.

The fire started about 11:35 a.m. and came close to homes in the Kahe Point Homes area. One woman from the area was treated for smoke inhalation.

Seguirant said firefighters were hampered by the wind and the unavailability of the fire department’s helicopter, which was grounded due to the approaching storm.

“The fire has been very difficult because of the winds,” he said tonight. “In addition to the strength, it changes direction.”

“We’re hoping the rain will give us a hand,” he said.

Police temporarily closed Farrington Highway in both directions about noon, but lanes were later reopened.

The closure was directly across from Electric Beach and smoke from the fire was blowing over the highway.

Around midday, Hawaiian Electric Co. said its crews were working to restore power to about 1,635 customers in the Kahe area who lost power because of the fire.

About 120 customers remained without power at 7:15 p.m.

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