A Gender Reveal Party Sparked A California Wildfire That’s Burned Thousands Of Acres

Wildfire season has been particularly painful for California this year, as complications due to COVID-19 have left the state short of the prison labor workforce it in part relies upon to fight the multiple fires that have spread across various areas and burned thousands of acres. But one fire in particular drew outrage online when authorities revealed it was started because of a smoke bomb used for a gender reveal party.

These parties — where parents gather friends and family and do some sort of pink or blue related stunt to learn a child’s assigned gender at birth — have become extremely popular in recent years. Countless videos of parents creatively trying to make a spectacle of the baby’s gender have gone viral, as have parodies of these videos as well. But one in California’s El Dorado Ranch Park over the weekend apparently sparked a brush fire that’s responsible for a blaze that as of Monday was only a fraction of a percentage contained.

According to authorities, what’s now being called the El Dordo Fire was “caused by a “smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party.” The fire apparently started around 10:30 in the morning on September 5 in El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and has since spread to cover thousands of acres nearby.

You’ve probably seen one of these videos where pink or blue smoke is used for the gender reveal, but those are pyrotechnic devices that can spark wildfires. And according to authorities, that’s exactly what happened. Videos on Twitter show the extent of the fire, which has already burned thousands of acres and was just five percent contained on Labor Day.

As many pointed out, this isn’t the first time that a gender reveal party sparked a wildfire.

According to CNN, no one has been charged with any crimes related to the incident as of Monday. But those responsible for similar fires have seen charges in the past. Furthermore, large parties are already frowned upon in the a still-ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But using explosives in a park during wildfire season is an especially needless tragedy to add to an already large pile in 2020.