So the rumors were true. A gender reveal party was indeed behind a California fire that has burned more than 7,000 acres of land and forced thousands to evacuate their homes. The El Dorado Fire has joined dozens of other wildfires that caused severe damaged on the States and burnt a record of 2 M acres this year.
In a Sunday statement, Officials from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said that the Dorado Fire Burning was caused by a smoke generating device used during a gender reveal party.
The fire began at around 1030am on Sept 5 in El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, California located at San Bernardino County.
Authorities said that this isn’t the first instance of a gender-reveal stunt creating a costly, destructive fire. In 2017, an off-duty Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona created a gender-reveal exploit during which he shot a target containing colored powder, which coincided with the future child’s sex, and Tannerite, a legal but highly explosive substance. The resulting explosion sparked a fire that ultimately burned over 47,000 acres of land and led to $8 million worth of damage. Gender-reveal party mishaps have also caused dangerous, and even lethal, explosions, plane crashes, and car fires.
Gender-reveal parties have become a trend to expecting parents, but even their “founder” has said the trend has gone too far. Blogger Jenna Karvunidis is credited with popularizing the concept after a post about a gender-reveal party that she and her husband threw for their oldest daughter went viral in 2008. But she has since denounced the trend she helped start, saying it should be replaced with more inclusive celebrations.
Following the news of the El Dorado Fire, Karvunidis once again condemned over-the-top gender-reveal exploits in a Monday Facebook post.
“Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties,” she wrote in her post. “For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.”
As of Tuesday, the El Dorado Fire had burned more than 10,500 acres of land and was about 16% contained. Authorities ordered residents to evacuate from parts of Yucaipa, a city of more than 50,000 people, per the most recent U.S. Census data.
Washington Post reported that the family who sparked the fire called 911 after the flames they created couldn’t be quelled with water bottles. Officials told The Post that the family is “cooperating with investigators.”