Gender reveal parties are cringe-inducing enough when all goes well, but on Saturday, the trend took a tragic turn when a gender reveal sparked the latest California wildfire.
California is currently experiencing record-breaking heat and an alarming early start to the fire season. Oh yeah, and the pandemic is still very much a thing. In the midst of all these tragic circumstances, a family in San Bernardino County decided to quite literally add fuel to the fire.
The fire started Saturday at 10:23 a.m. PT at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, where the gender reveal party was being held, and spread from there, causing widespread evacuations of several communities.
According to a Cal Fire press release, the El Dorado fire was “caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party”. As a result of this unspecified pyrotechnic device, 7,400 acres are now burning. The fire is only 7% contained as of Monday. More than 500 personnel is currently deployed to fight the fire. It is unclear at this time how much damage the fire may have caused.
Not The First Time
Sadly, this is not the first time a gender reveal party has caused a significant fire. In 2017, 47,000 acres burned in Arizona as the result of another unfortunate mishap revealing the gender of a child. An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent shot at a target surrounded by dry brush. On impact, the target revealed the child’s gender. It also immediately ignited the surrounding brush. The fire ultimately caused approximately $8 million in damage. The shooter was charged with a misdemeanor and given five years probation and had to pay over $8 million in restitution.
I really can’t stress this enough, please do not use fire when announcing your baby’s gender. You do not want to be that guy responsible for yet another California wildfire. I know this is a whole Instagram trend thing, but there is very little risk involved with just telling people whether you’re having a boy or a girl.