Gender reveal party blamed for California wildfire
One of three major wildfires currently burning in California and blamed for the evacuation of some residents of San Bernardino County was apparently sparked by a gender reveal party, according to state officials.
A news release from California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) on Sunday indicated that a pyrotechnic device used to generate colored smoke was behind the El Dorado Fire, which has burned more than 7,000 acres and was as of Monday just 5 percent contained according to state officials.
“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,” read Cal Fire’s news release.
Officials added in the news release that “with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire.”
“Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially responsible and criminally responsible,” it continued.
An update from Cal Fire on Monday indicated that four towns in San Bernardino County were under evacuation orders as a result of the blaze. The state’s governor, Gavin Newsom (D), declared a state of emergency for the county and several others on Sunday as the El Dorado Fire and two others raged across the state, threatening homes and businesses.
The state has blamed the fires’ speed and intensity on poor weather conditions including dry air and fast winds that have stymied firefighters’ attempts to contain the blazes.
“We are deploying every resource available to keep communities safe as California battles fires across the state during these extreme conditions,” Newsom said in August. “California and its federal and local partners are working in lockstep to meet the challenge and remain vigilant in the face of continued dangerous weather conditions.”
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