3 fires near upper road suspected arson

KAILUA-KONA — Three brush fires ignited on Highway 190 over the weekend appear to be connected, officials confirmed Monday afternoon.

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KAILUA-KONA — Three brush fires ignited on Highway 190 over the weekend appear to be connected, officials confirmed Monday afternoon.

The cluster of blazes occurred on Saturday and Sunday just outside Kailua-Kona. The first was discovered at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at about mile marker 29 on Mamalahoa Highway, or upper road. The second was hours later at 7:45 p.m. a half mile up the road.

The third fire was spotted Sunday at 1:35 p.m. at mile marker 30.

The fires were all small in size, said Hawaii Police Department Maj. Robert Wagner.

Wagner said there is indication the blazes are connected based on location, time and apparent method used to start the flames. However, authorities are not disclosing what that method is at this time and there are currently no leads.

The Hawaii Fire Department battled a rash of arson fires in the same area early last year, said Battalion Chief Darwin Okinaka.

The brush fires were along Highway 190 between Kailua-Kona and Waimea. They consumed more than 1,100 acres of state and federal land.

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Anyone with information regarding the fires should call Hawaii Police Department at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID Service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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