Calif. FFs witness lightning strike that started fire

Firefighters saw smoke after the strike and went to the scene to find 40- to 50-foot flames

Alex Riggins
The San Diego Union-Tribune

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A lightning strike sparked a vegetation fire Thursday in Oceanside that scorched the backyard fences of several homes before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, authorities said.

An engine crew that responded to an unrelated call was heading back to their station about 4:25 p.m. when they saw the lightning strike in the distance, followed just a few seconds later by flames and smoke billowing into the sky, Oceanside fire Battalion Chief Jessamyn Specht said in a news release.

Not knowing exactly what was ablaze, the crew requested a structure-fire response as they headed toward College and Oceanside boulevards, Specht said. When the crew arrived, they found several trees on fire, with flames shooting about 40 to 50 feet into the air, between a grocery store strip mall and the homes behind it, on Auburn Avenue.

"The lightning also caught the (surrounding) brush and grass on fire," Specht said, adding that crews from the first engine "quickly pulled hose lines to the rear of the homes and began defending the structures from the fire."

Crews aboard several other arriving engines accessed the fire through the Albertsons shopping center parking lot, Specht said. The blaze scorched about a quarter-acre of vegetation as well as the fences of several homes, but none of the houses sustained damage and no injuries were reported.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.


(c)2021 The San Diego Union-Tribune


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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