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Burning Squirrel Sparks Brush Fire In Central Ore.

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File image of a squirrel (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/GETTY IMAGES)

File image of a squirrel (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/GETTY IMAGES)

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(CBS Seattle) — A squirrel is being blamed for starting a small brush fire south of Bend, Oregon.

The critter touched a pair of power lines along U.S. Highway 97 Monday, creating a short circuit that electrocuted and ignited the animal, according to The Bulletin. The squirrel fell to the ground and landed in a small grove.

Firefighters and U.S. Forest Service officials were able to put out the fire within an hour, but the flames did cause a brief closure on the highway. Fire officials say the blaze also scorched a pole and caused about $50 in damage to a nearby travel trailer.

According to firefighters, this is the second squirrel in two weeks to spark a fire in the area. On Sept. 9, a squirrel atop a power pole contacted live wires and started a small brush fire, leaving more than 100 homes in southwest Bend without electricity for roughly four hours.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Bulletin contributed to this report.)

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