Small brush fire causes power outages

Published Sep 9, 2013 at 05:00AM

An unfortunate squirrel sparked a small brush fire Sunday morning near the Athletic Club of Bend (61615 Athletic Club Drive), causing more than 100 homes in southwest Bend to be without power for about four hours.

The squirrel was on top of a power pole and “grounded out” a live wire, or caused a short circuit, according to the Bend Fire Department. Burning material then dropped to the ground and caused about a 500-square-foot brush fire. Firefighters responded to the fire around 10 a.m., and shortly after their arrival, a burning tree caused a power line to drop to the ground.

After making sure that the power line was no longer charged, firefighters quickly snuffed out the fire, according to the Fire Department. The squirrel did not survive.

— Bulletin staff reports