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Pyrotechnic Used for Gender Reveal Causes 10,000-Acre California Fire

Firefighters are still working to contain the fire as of Tuesday morning.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published September 8, 2020
family starts wildfire in California after a gender reveal party
Image: Josh Edelson / Getty Images

A pyrotechnic device used in one family’s gender reveal photo has caused close to 10,000 acres in California to burn in the past two days and hundreds of families to evacuate.

The family was heading to El Dorado Ranch Park to take gender reveal photos on Saturday, September 5 and planned to use some kind of “pyrotechnic device” that revealed the baby’s sex through smoke or firewords, Captain Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CAL Fire, told BuzzFeed News. The device however, ignited to cause an accidental fire that quickly spread north to Yucaipa Ridge.

The family is reportedly cooperating with the firefighters and the authorities, but no arrests have been made. Milloy told BuzzFeed News that any charges will be pressed after the fire is contained and a report submitted to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. The person responsible for igniting the device would be the person facing possible charges, he added.

According to CNN, the fire has spread to 9,671 acres and was only 7 percent contained as of Monday night.

"In my 30 years as a citizen in Yucaipa, I have never seen such a large fire. As a retired firefighter with 32 years of experience, I can assure you I witnessed one of the most dangerous fires that we can have in this area,” David Avila, Yucaipa Mayor, stated during a news conference on Monday.

This is not the first time a gender reveal has gone awry and resulted in a fire. In 2018, an Arizona gender reveal party caused a 47,000-acre wildfire and resulted in a $220,000 fine for the dad-to-be.

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