Massive California Wildfire Sparked by Gender Reveal Party, Officials Say

Gender reveal parties have become somewhat of a trend the last few years among expecting couples — however, California residents — and those who live in dry areas — may want to pick their choice of reveal carefully. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention's press release, the deadly El Dorado Fire burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County was started by an explosive device used at a gender reveal party. The wildfire started on Saturday "by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device" that was used during the gathering, the statement read according to PEOPLE.

Since it started, the fire has already burned through 7,050 acres as the golden state continues to battle hot and dry weather with winds accelerating the flames. Already, 60 engines have been deployed, 10 water tenders, four helicopters and 500 personnel. Nearby residents who live in Oak Glen, Yucaipa Ridge, Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls have already been asked to evacuate. Only 5% of the fire has been contained thus far and if it's not under control before the fire continues to spread, more evacuations will be put in place.

While most wildfires in the state are started from lightning strikes due to the incredibly dry grounds, California Fire officials are using this as an example to remind people that "those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially or criminally responsible." Since Aug. 15, the state has already fought 900 wildfires, and so far 1.5 million acres of land has already been burned by fires across the state with a total of eight deaths.

Less than two years ago, in 2018, Southern California battled one of its largest wildfires yet, the Woolsey fires. Those living just west of Los Angles in Malibu were forced to evacuate, along with residents living as far as Calabasas. Several big-name celebrities were also either forced to leave their homes behind or had their homes burned to the ground as a result. Local zoos brought their animals close to the water on the beaches as nearby residents all pitched in to keep everyone as safe as possible as firefighters worked tirelessly to get the flames under control.