Will this finally stop all the stupid gender reveals? Probably not, but at least the people who caused a giant wildfire have been punished.
According to EcoWatch, the California couple that started the El Dorado fire in 2020 that burned over 22,000 acres of land has been charged. Specifically, the couple has been charged with 30 crimes, though they’ve since pleaded not guilty. This includes involuntary manslaughter, three felony counts of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury, four felony counts of recklessly causing a fire to inhabited structures, and 22 misdemeanor counts of recklessly causing fire to property. After their arrest, the couple was released on their own recognizance despite the prosecutor recommending that they be held on $50,000 bail.
The fire started when the couple used a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” at a party at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, California. Video surveillance of the party showed guests walking into the grass at the park’s edge. One person then lit the device. But within a few seconds, a fire ignited and the group began running around with water bottles in attempts to stop the fire. Unfortunately, they failed.
“It really is a tragedy, it’s sad. They were hoping to remember the day in a different way,” said CalFire investigator Capt. Bennet Milloy back in September. Milloy then added that over 80% of fires are caused by humans. “You need to be extra cautious because you could be liable.”
According to Wildfire Today, the fire surged across 2 counties, burned over 22,000 acres of land, destroyed five homes and 15 buildings, injured 13 people, took the life of a firefighter named Charlie Morton, and may have caused the disappearance of another firefighter named Carlos Baltazar. It took 23 days, six fire departments, and more than 1,350 firefighters before the fire was stopped.
“Obviously, he wouldn’t have been out there if this [fire] hadn’t started in the first place,” San Bernadino County District Attorney Jason Anderson said of Morton at a news conference on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. “He’s fighting a fire that was started because of a smoke bomb. That’s the only reason he’s there.”
A portion of the conversation that developed during and after the fire is the need to stop the trend of elaborate and dangerous gender reveals. There have now been several cases of gender reveals at baby showers causing fires and injuries. Even Jenna Karvunidis, the blogger who’s credited for created the gender reveal party, asks that people stop throwing them.
In the midst of the California wildfire, Karvundis took to Facebook to ask, yet again, that people stop the trend.
“Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.”