17 Sep Gender Reveal Party Causes Devastating Wildfire in California: 4.2 Million Acres Were Lost to the Blaze
It has been a huge hip trend among Americans for a family who’s expecting a baby to held a gender reveal party. It’s a party where the expectant parents held a party to reveal the baby’s gender to their families and friends. This practice originated in the United States during the late 2000s, the most common practice is by cutting a cake. If the cake was blue it is a boy, if the cake was pink it is a girl. However, some people likes to go extra miles to held this party, and we’re here to talk about a gender reveal party that sparked a wildfire in California.
Gender Reveal Party Wildfire
A wildfire is erupted in California started in the late of August, resulting to the loss of 4.2 million acres worth of land, 112 million tons of greenhouse gases released to the air, 11 million gallons of fire retardant’s used, and 31 life is lost unfortunately. A thunderstorm occurs in the middle of the wildfire and it just make things worse, with more than 15,000 lightning strikes sparking fire after fire, followed by warm winds spreading the fire in all directions. Believe it or not, it was started by an innocent gender reveal party.
This is a tough battle to fight for firefighters, as 14,000 firefighters was sent to calm the fire by mid-August, but that number wasn’t enough that the state sent backups, increasing the number of firefighters to 18,500. California depends on big array of planes, air tankers and helicopters to counter the fire. 44 aircrafts dropped 11 million gallons of fire retardant (substance that can reduce the intensity of a fire), while 88 helicopters dropped more than 18 million gallons of water. One gender reveal party can somehow bother a lot of people.
To reveal the gender of the upcoming baby, the expecting couple ignite a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” that will blow up a blue-coloured smoke, to declare that they’re having a boy. The pyrotechnic device was ignited in the middle of four-foot-tall grass at El Dorado Ranch Park (September 5th, 2020), after the blue smoke however, fire starts to appear and eat the dry grass. The family tried to extinguish the fire by dousing it with water, but with no result, so they ended up calling 911 to report the gender reveal party gone wrong.
The fire continued to burn and took 20,000 acres as of September 18th, statistics above is provided by Captain Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (known as Cal Fire). Cal Fire reminds us that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire, and so a simple smoke bomb for a gender reveal party is capable enough to start one. Funny story, the blogger who launched this trend in 2008 Jenna Karvunidis, repeatedly said that she regrets what she started and wants it to end.
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The Aftermath of The Party
Thirty one people lost their lives from California’s wildfires in 2020, and 4.2 million acres of woods are burned to ash. Criminal charges for the family were being considered, but would not be filed before the fire is extinguished according to Captain Milloy, and now the fire is finally extinguished. The couple who held the gender reveal party, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr and Angela Renee Jimenez, face up to 20 years in prison for several offences like involuntary manslaughter, the person behind the El Dorado fire.
The El Dorado fire lasted more than two months, and considering just how wide the damage was, homes and properties are destroyed. Until, the great gender reveal party wildfire is completely extinguished on November 2020. Now that the fire is extingushed, criminal charges can be dropped, involuntary manslaughter and for recklessly causing a fire resulting in injury and damage to homes, although the couple plead “not guilty”. The couple are due to appear in court on 15 September, where they receive 20 years in prison.
In total, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr and Angela Renee Jimenez were indicted for 30 crimes, stated by Jason Anderson, the San Bernardino county district attorney, during a press conference. Those 30 charges was dropped based on 34 witness were present and give their testimonies in court. Honestly, this isn’t the first time that over-the-top gender reveal party cause an accident that even took life. There is an earthquake, wildfire in Alberta and Arizona, plane crash, and it once killed a grandmother-to-be and an expecting father.
To learn more about these gender reveal party accidents in a humorous way, you can check: