Lifestyle & Human Interest

Gender Reveal Gone Wrong: Fire Officials Announce Cause of Devastating CA Wildfire


There are certain things you simply do not do when you live in dry, fire-prone areas. You do not burn your trash. You don’t burn leaf piles.

No open fires. No tossing cigarette butts on the ground. And absolutely no fireworks or explosives of any kind.

But apparently some people still choose to invest in risky behavior for fun causes, and at least one of the recent fires in California is a direct result of someone’s poor decision making — especially worrisome as it was soon-to-be parents who made it.

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While at least 23 known fires are currently burning in California, the one in Yucaipa, just 75 miles from Los Angeles, was started at a gender reveal party that employed smoke pyrotechnics.

“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 California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention shared in an update on social media.

“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.”

Since then, the fire has taken off, spreading in all directions, covering over 7,000 acres with just five percent containment. More than 3,000 people have been displaced because of the blaze.

“It burned in four different directions since we’ve been here,” Ben Holmes, a U.S. Forest Service senior firefighter, told KCAL-TV. “It was pushing to the east, then to the north, and then big westwardly wind shift, and (Sunday) it moved to the south.”

“The wind has been pretty dramatically inconsistent.”

To make matters worse, the arid summer landscape, high temperatures and current weather conditions are only helping the fire spread.

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“CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire,” the post from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection continued.

“Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible.”

Readers have commented on Cal Fire’s Instagram post with a variety of sentiments, from “Sooo, boy or girl?” to “God, this makes me so angry” — though most of them seem to agree that this was at the very least a terrible idea.

Whether the baby turns out to be a boy or a girl, hopefully the parents will make better decisions from here on out.

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