Massive El Dorado Wildfire Was Sparked by Gender Reveal Party, Officials Say
One of the deadly wildfires spreading rapidly in Northern California was started during a gender reveal party, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) said in a press release.
The El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was started on Saturday at 10:23 a.m. "by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device" that was used during the party, the press release said.
Since Saturday, the fire has spread north from the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa on to Yucapia Ridge. Only five percent of the fire has been contained.
Cal Fire officials reminded residents that "those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially or criminally responsible."
According to the Cal Fire incident website, the flames have burned at least 7,050 acres. Evacuation orders are in place for the communities of Oak Glen, Yucaipa Ridge, Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls.
Over 500 personnel have been deployed to the fire, including four helicopters, 10 water tenders, and 60 engines, the website said.
San Bernardino National Forest said on Twitter that overnight weather is expected to remain hot and dry with a relative humidity at 20 percent, while winds will remain downslope at three to five mph. with gusts of wind up to 10 mph.
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.
Over the weekend, California reported a record-high temperature of 121 degrees in Woodland Hills, according to the National Weather Service.