A firefighter has tragically died in the wildfire caused by a disastrous gender-reveal party
A firefighter has tragically died in California while battling a blaze set off after a pyrotechnic at a gender-reveal party unleashed a deadly wildfire that has burned 21,000 acres.
The El Dorado fire began after a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” was set off over Labour Day weekend at the El Dorado Ranch Park in southern California.
The device was meant to emit a cloud of pink or blue smoke to indicate the genitals of an unnamed couple’s unborn child, but instead sparked a wildfire that expanded rapidly due to high temperatures and dry conditions.
Some 3,000 homes have since been evacuated in Oak Glen, Yucaipa Ridge, Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls as the fire burned through more than 21,000 of acres of land, with firefighters struggling to bring it under control.
On Thursday (September 18), the San Bernardino National Forest Service said that a firefighter had died battling the deadly blaze.
“The name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin,” the forest service said in a brief statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time.
The forest service added that “the cause is under investigation”.
California governor declares state of emergency over wildfires.
On September 6, California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency due to the El Dorado fire as well as several other simultaneous wildfires.
His office said: “The fires have burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of thousands of residents.
“Governor Newsom has declared a statewide emergency due to the widespread fires and extreme weather conditions, and secured a presidential major disaster declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to the Northern California wildfires.”
California blaze was not the first gender-reveal wildfire.
In 2017, a gender-reveal party sparked wildfires in Arizona.
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Hundreds of people had to evacuate their homes during the week-long 47,000-acre ‘Sawmill Fire’ caused by border patrol agent Dennis Dickey, which required around 800 firefighters and $8.2 million to extinguish it in April 2017.
The US Forest Service released video of the gender reveal incident in 2018 following a Freedom of Information Act request by news outlet KVOA.
It showed Dickey shooting a target decorated with the words “boy” and “girl” and containing a legal explosive substance called tannerite, as the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The incident was mocked online, with one person tweeting that gender-reveal parties are “peak straight white nonsense”.