California's El Dorado Fire was started by a gender reveal party.
The family were at the scene when fire fighters arrived, and could be held financially and criminally responsible.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (aka Cal Fire) has revealed that the El Dorado Fire—a massive fire burning in San Bernardino County—was started by a gender reveal party. According to a press release (via People), the fire was ignited on Saturday at 10:23 a.m. "by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device"—which can be used to release blue or pink smoke, thereby revealing the baby's gender.
As a result of this irresponsible behavior, the fire has burned 7,050 acres and is only 5% contained. Evacuation orders are in place for multiple communities, and over 500 personnel have been deployed to help contain the flames.
CAL FIRE Law Enforcement has determined the El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party. The fire began at 10:23 am on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The fire spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.
A post shared by CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit (@calfirebdu) on Sep 6, 2020 at 8:08pm PDT
In a statement posted on Instagram, Cal Fire officials said "those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially or criminally responsible." Meanwhile The Daily Mail reports that the family were on site when firefighters arrived, and a Cal Fire spokesman confirmed "We know how it started because they were still there. That, and the fact that there were surveillance cameras in the park."
He also added that the family "understood the seriousness of the fire" and that "They genuinely believed it was an accident. But I think now they understand the gravity of the situation."
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