A gender reveal party was responsible for a new California wildfire that has already torched over 7,000 acres CNBC reported. The newest wildfire joined a series of such fires already raging across the Golden State.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” started the blaze, now being referred to as the El Dorado Fire. As of Monday, the fire had spread to encompass 7,386 acres and was only 7% contained. The parties responsible for the gender reveal party, where expectant parents announce whether they will be having a boy or girl, have not been identified.
The El Dorado Fire began on Saturday morning at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and quickly spread north. Four local communities are under evacuation orders due to the spreading fire. Over 500 personnel and 60 engines have been sent to the area to try to contain the blaze.
California has been ravaged by wildfires over the summer. Over 1,000 wildfires began since the middle of August. The most frequent cause has been lightning strikes. ABC7 reported that the fires have burned over 1.5 million acres, caused 8 deaths, and destroyed over 3,000 structures. The Creek Fire, the largest wildfire thus far this year, has laid waste to over 73,000 acres and none of it so far has been contained. The Valley Fire, near San Diego County, burned 10,000 acres and is only 1% contained as of Monday.
California is also in the midst of a record-setting heat wave. Los Angeles recently reported a temperature of 121 degrees Fahrenheit, its highest recorded temperature. According to the National Weather Service (NWS) Sunday was “one of the hottest days since weather records began across much of south-western California”. In August Death Valley recorded a temperature of 130 degrees, possibly the highest recorded temperature in history.
The combination of wildfires and intense heat is threatening to cause rolling blackouts throughout the state. California residents have been asked to conserve power as much as possible to prevent overloading the power grid and causing power outages.
Cal Fire issued a press release warning of the dangers and consequences of wildfires. “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 and criminally responsible,” the statement read.