A total of 9 suspected arson fires sparked in grass and brush near homes in Oceanside Friday night, fire officials confirmed.
According to the Oceanside Fire Department, the first blaze in the series was reported around 11:35 p.m. near Mesa Drive and Foussat Road. It scorched about one acre and burned within 200 feet of several homes, fire officials said.
As firefighters finished mopping up hot spots, a second fire was reported about two miles away, near Redwood Street and Cypress Street.
When crews arrived at the scene, they discovered six separate fires burning in a field behind some homes and near the San Luis Rey River bed.
While firefighters battled these fires, two more fires were reported again near the first scene, at the intersection of Mesa Drive and Foussat Road.
Crews arrived on scene quickly and spotted a male suspect leaving the area on a bicycle. A description of the man was broadcast over the radio, and a short time later, an Engine Company spotted the suspect.
Officials say the man was riding his bike and wearing a backpack that contained a gas can and a lighter. He was turned over to police for further questioning.
Altogether, officials say nine suspected arson fires in Oceanside burned three to four acres. No structures were damaged, and no one was injured.
The series of fires remains under investigation.