OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A vegetation fire apparently sparked by a campfire at a homeless encampment blackened several open acres near Buena Vista Lagoon Wednesday, spreading toward some buildings but causing no structural damage or injuries.
The blaze off the 2100 block of South Coast Highway was reported shortly before 5:30 a.m., according to Pete Lawrence, a battalion chief with the Oceanside Fire Department.
For a time, increasing winds drove the flames toward a nearby developed area, but crews were able to halt them before they could cause any property damage.
“The only impact to the structures was a heavy shower of embers and significant amounts of smoke,” Lawrence said.
Aided by a water-dropping helicopter from the city of San Diego, firefighters were able to get the roughly two-acre burn area fully contained by 8 a.m., the battalion chief said.
The blaze forced the closure of South Coast Highway between Vista Way in Oceanside and the northern city limits of Carlsbad into the late morning.
Preliminary evidence suggested that a campfire alongside the lagoon ignited the blaze in stands of reeds and brush, according to Lawrence.