Local Geologist Speaks About Rock Fire Incident

Lyn Hiner Recovering From Burns After Rocks Found On Beach Ignited In Her Pocket

Some new clues are being offered by a local expert after some beach rocks ignited, leading to severe burns for a 43-year-old mother.

» Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts» Like Us On Facebook» Follow Us On Twitter

"It's hard to believe," said surfer Scott Tenery. "It just doesn't seem real."

For Lyn Hiner, it was all too real. Last Saturday, in the Upper Trestles area of San Onofre State Beach, her children collected seven rocks tinged with orange and green.

Later, at her home in San Clemente, after Hiner put the rocks in her pocket, the rocks ignited, shooting flames out of her shorts and causing second and third-degree burns.

Her husband was also burned trying to help.

Meanwhile, lifeguards scoured the beach but did not find any similar rocks.

In initial tests, two of the rocks tested for a phosphorous substance and geologist Pat Abbott said it should not have been on the rocks.

"There's nothing flammable in these rocks whatsoever," said Abbott.

He identified the rocks as a type of metamorphic rock.

"There's no way this orange stuff goes with these rocks," said Abbott. "The orange has been added by a human being. I don't know if it's evil or incidental."

On the beach on Thursday, theories abounded from radiation to fireworks to residue from military ordnance. According to published reports and Camp Pendleton officials, there is no evidence of a military connection but they do plan to cooperate with the investigation into the incident.

Hiner remains in a Santa Ana hospital recovering from her injuries.

Orange County health officials say the testing on the rocks could take two more weeks.

Right now, no law enforcement agency has launched an investigation.

Print this article Back to Top