Pyrotechnic from gender-reveal party started major California fire

by Jordyn Pair · Sep 7th, 2020 10:06 am

Last Updated Sep 8th, 2020 at 5:58 pm

A smoke-generating pyrotechnic used at a gender-reveal party was responsible for starting one of 23 major fires burning in California, fire officials said on Sunday.

"CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn't take much to start a wildfire," a Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit statement said. "Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible."

The El Dorado Fire has forced the evacuations of 3,000 residents and scorched more than 7,000 acres. It is just 5% contained.

The fire was started at 10:23 a.m. on September 5 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, roughly 75 miles east of Los Angeles.

"It burned in four different directions since we've been here. It was pushing to the east, then to the north, and then big westwardly wind shift, and [Sunday] it moved to the south. The wind has been pretty dramatically inconsistent," said Ben Holmes, a U.S. Forest Service senior firefighter, according to the station.

More than 500 personnel have been needed to contain the fire.


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