A Oceanside Fire Department vehicle. Courtesy City of Oceanside

A lightning strike ignited a brush fire that burned the backyard fences of several Oceanside homes before firefighters extinguished the flames, authorities said Friday.

An engine crew that was returning to its station after an unrelated call spotted the lightning strike from afar about 4:25 p.m. Thursday in the 4100 block of Auburn Avenue, west of College Boulevard, said Oceanside Fire Battalion Chief Jessamyn Specht.

A few seconds later they saw flames and smoke billowing into the sky, then requested a structure-fire response, Specht said.

When the crew arrived, it found several trees on fire, with flames jumping about 40 to 50 feet high between an Albertsons grocery store and the homes behind it on Auburn Avenue, he said.

“The lightning also caught the (surrounding) brush and grass on fire,” Specht said. “(Crews) quickly pulled hoselines to the rear of the homes and began defending the structures from the fire.”

The blaze burned about a quarter-acre of vegetation along with the fences of several homes before firefighters extinguished the flames within about an hour, Specht said.

No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported.

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