A family that held a gender-reveal party near Palm Springs, California, where they allegedly used a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device, may be held financially responsible for the massive damage and subsequent cost of putting the El Dorado Fire out. The device that was reportedly used is often utilized to release blue or pink smoke to indicate the gender of an expected baby.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection issued a press release stating:
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 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. CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire. Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially responsible and criminally responsible.
The fire has destroyed at least 7,000 acres of land; temperatures reached 122 degrees in Palm Springs on Saturday. The fire threatened Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls. The communities of Oak Glen, Forest Falls and Mountain Home Village had to be evacuated, the Desert Sun reported.
“The El Dorado Fire is burning just two miles from where the Apple Fire ravaged 33,000 acres last month, and fire officials said it would work to their advantage if the El Dorado Fire entered the burn scar,” the Desert Sun pointed out.
Bennet Milloy, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told DailyMail.com that the hosts of the party were present at the scene when firefighters arrived, adding, “We know how it started because they were still there. That and the fact that there were surveillance cameras in the park.”
Malloy said the family was potentially civilly and criminally responsible for the fire, which could mean facing jail time and having to pay millions of dollars. He acknowledged speaking to the family, saying that they “understood the seriousness of the fire … They genuinely believed it was an accident. But I think now they understand the gravity of the situation.”
“Across the whole of California, firefighters are currently battling 23 wildfires, which have so far destroyed 1.6 million acres. Almost 15,000 firefighters were working to douse the flames, and battling against record temperatures in the state,” the Daily Mail pointed out.
“Since Aug. 15, California has battled 900 wildfires, The Associated Press previously reported. Many of the wildfires were started by an intense series of lightning strikes. In total, they have burned 1.5 million acres (2,343 square miles) of land. There have also been eight reported deaths thus far,” People magazine noted.