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Oceanside Neighborhood Guide: Fire Mountain

Oceanside Neighborhood Guide: Fire Mountain

Fire Mountain is more than just an Oceanside neighborhood; it is a community in the truest sense of the word. Area residents are proud of the place they call home, and an active community group – Friends of Fire Mountain – works hard to preserve the area and their way of life.

Developers looking to build in this semi-rural neighborhood can expect residents to actually show up at meetings to keep tabs on their progress and fight to keep their neighborhood a great place to live. This, of course, is just one of the reasons so many long-time Oceanside residents and newcomers are drawn to this upscale community that perfectly balances small-town charm with bigger city convenience.

Although it is located in the City of Oceanside, there is a rural feel to the curving streets and hillside homes surrounded by pines. Neighbors stop to chat while walking their dogs, and some even sell their wares at the local farmers market.

If you are looking for a unique, eclectic neighborhood that offers a taste of country living within the city, Fire Mountain might be the perfect community for you.


The area that now makes up the Southern Oceanside neighborhood of Fire Mountain was once inhabited by the Luiseno tribe, evidence of which can still be found today – particularly around the area of the Eternal Hills Memorial Park. The area later came under Spanish control, and then Mexican control after Mexico gained its independence from Spain. As is the case in much of San Diego County, the influence of these cultures is still apparent in the architecture and rich history of the area.

In the first half of the 1900s, this community was largely a part of the area’s agricultural center where citrus groves and avocado orchards were a common sight, and the land was primarily occupied by family farms. While this is now known as one of Oceanside’s upscale neighborhoods, this was not always the case. Long before small mansions dotted the hills along the community’s curving streets, working class families and poor farmers called this area home.

The earliest known mention of Fire Mountain is on maps dating back to the 1860s. While the true origin of the neighborhood’s name is lost to history, there are several theories on how the name Fire Mountain came about. Some say it was named for the fantastic sunsets that settle over the hills; others say it was named for the fires that could be seen from the brick factory that used to sit on Fire Mountain Road. A more romantic version says the area got its name from the signal fires lit on the mountains by Native Americans. Some long-time residents say that it is named for the many fires you could see burning when families regularly burned trash on their farms.


The houses in Fire Mountain are primarily single-family homes with a 2013 median list price of $695,000. The average value of detached homes in 2010 was $630,463, and the average value of attached homes (such as townhouses) was $471,025 that same year.

There is a mix of modest family homes and higher-end estates with most homes being built in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the homes have ocean views, and all are located in close proximity to the shopping, dining and entertainment options found throughout Oceanside and Carlsbad.

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

While Fire Mountain is a primarily residential neighborhood, there are local businesses located within the community and a Walmart shopping center just off of Highway 78. Being located in Southern Oceanside and along Interstate 5 means that this neighborhood offers easy access to the beaches, shopping, entertainment, attractions and dining in both Carlsbad and Oceanside.

Parks & Recreation

The Martin Luther King Skate Park

Aside from the nearby beaches and many North County attractions within just a short drive, Fire Mountain residents can also enjoy a little fun in the sun right at home. The three-acre Joseph Carrasco Park (formerly known as Skylark Park) is located on Skylark Drive and has a picnic area where families gather, while the 6,000-square-foot Martin Luther King Skate Park at 4300 Mesa Drive offers daytime skateboarding to area residents. There is also the Buddy Todd Park on Mesa Drive and Parnassus Circle, which offers 19 acres with picnic areas, barbecue grills, play structures, a sports field, and courts for basketball and volleyball.


The Fire Mountain community’s public school needs are served by the Oceanside Unified School District, including Palmquist Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School – both of which are located within the neighborhood. Other schools serving this neighborhood include South Oceanside Elementary School, Ocean Shores High School, Living Waters Academy and Oceanside Adventist Elementary School.


The Oceanside neighborhood of Fire Mountain is bordered on the north by Oceanside Boulevard, to the west by Interstate 5 and to the east by South El Camino Real.  The southern border of this area is just below Highway 78.

Additional Information

This upscale community in Oceanside offers quite a bit to its residents, including great weather, close proximity to area attractions and a feeling of community that extends to a residents-only annual holiday party, an annual art show and sale benefiting charity, and the Friends of Fire Mountain Networking Group, which is a monthly networking group for Fire Mountain residents with the goal of encouraging the growth of local businesses.

If you are looking for an upscale neighborhood with a mix of higher-end and more-affordable homes, the Oceanside community of Fire Mountain is a great place to raise a family or enjoy the feel of semi-rural living in the city.


Photo Credits: Martin Luther King Skate Park photo courtesy of the City of Oceanside  website. Fire Mountain map photo courtesy of the Friends of Fire Mountain website.

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+