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Gender reveal explosion sparks sprawling wildfire

Josh Milton June 11, 2021
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A CFA Member works on controlled back burns

A wildfire in Sydney, Australia. (Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

A Canadian has been fined $600 after a pyrotechnic at a gender reveal party sparked a sprawling wildfire in Alberta.

Fish and wildlife officials said a family held a party in a wooded area by Fort McMurray, a town in the northeastern part of the Alberta province.

The parents-to-be hoped that an exploding target would burst bright blue or powder pink to indicate the genitals of their unborn child. Instead, after a projectile hit it, it ruptured into flames.

Soon enough, the blaze became a wildfire that officials said was the size of about half of a Canadian Football League field.

Firefighters rushed to the scene, requiring the assistance of 10 wildfire specialists to put out the blaze, CityNews reported.

“Fireworks and exploding targets — they can be fun, but they can also come with a hefty price tag if you end up inadvertently starting a wildfire,” wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather told the outlet.

A Canadian has since been fined $600 for the incident, with Fairweather noting that written permission from local authorities is required to use fireworks or an exploding target in the province.

The family may have even face being charged with the cost of fighting the blaze itself.

Many, many gender reveal parties have ended in explosions

This is not the only time that a gender reveal party has spiralled into a wildfire.

In California, US, firefighters fought against a devastating inferno that broke out from a ranch park after a gender reveal involving a smoke-generating device set off last year.

It prompted thousands of evacuations as the fire ripped into more than 7,000 acres of land.

California governor Gavin Newsom even declared a state of emergency due to the wildfire, which tore into the state during a wildfire season. Temperatures were in the high 40s and the air was especially arid at the time.

Over the years, the practice of gender reveal parties have escalated from pink or blue cakes to into increasingly cursed public stunts: Jell-O-filled hippos, baseball exploits, runaway balloons, smoke-emitting tyres and disturbingly blue lasagne.

But some have become dangerous incidents that slip into chaos and even tragedy: Earthquakesplane crashes, two explosions, multiple arrests and a deadly pipe bomb explosion.

Even the person who staged the world’s first known gender reveal party has come to regret it. Blogger Jenna Karvaunidis documented the party for her firstborn in 2008, sparking a wave of copycats as a weird tradition was born.

Now the mother of a proud gender non-conforming child, Karvaunidis says the parties hammer home essentialist, outdated ideas about gender that places “more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby”.

Related topics: gender reveal party

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