By Gina Yarbrough
Oceanside, CA–Fire crews contained a vegetation fire that broke out Monday afternoon on the banks of the San Luis Rey River just east of Interstate 5 in Oceanside, fire officials said.
Oceanside and Camp Pendleton fire crews responded to a call around 4 p.m. of thick smoke rising rapidly with visible flames between the neighborhood on San Juan Capistrano and the San Luis Rey River.
Fire crews arrived on the scene and identified access points into the river bottom in an area known to have multiple transient camps. Fire engines were able to access the area and use hose lines, hand tools, and chainsaws to stop the forward progress of the blaze, the Oceanside Fire Department stated in a news release.
Crews gained control around the perimeter of the fire extinguishing and containing it to less than ¼ acre within 25 minutes of arrival.
An individual living in the camp suffered minor first-degree burns over approximately 1 to 2 percent of his body while attempting to put the fire out with a blanket. He was transported by ambulance to Tri-City Medical Center for further evaluation.
Fire crews were exposed to smoke and poison oak; however, no injuries were reported.
Prior to transporting the man to the hospital, Oceanside Police officers interviewed him and learned that the fire had started due to an open cooking fire. No structures were lost or damaged during this incident.
The Oceanside Fire Department says the public should use caution when cooking outdoors, and utilize approved cooking devices away from vegetation.