- Mar 26, 2010
A couple expecting a new baby set out Saturday morning to share the news of the child's sex by setting off a smoke bomb that would send plumes of pink or blue smoke rising into the arid Southern California air.
As the pyrotechnic device ignited, so did the dry wild grasses that had grown as tall as four feet in the meadow at El Dorado Ranch Park, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, Cal Fire said in a statement Sunday.
As of Monday night, the barely contained fire had grown into a monster that has already burned through nearly 10 000 acres and forced more than 20 000 people to evacuate.
The misguided "gender-reveal" stunt is not the first to spark a costly conflagration. A similar antic in 2017 started a 47 000-acre wildfire in the foothill's of southern Arizona's Santa Rita Mountains. In April, another gender-reveal gimmick set off a brush fire in Florida. Gender-reveal parties have caused a plane crash and last year one killed a grandmother when she was struck with shrapnel after a family unintentionally created a pipe bomb while attempting a colourful explosion to announce the sex of their unborn child.
A couple shared the gender of their baby by setting off a coloured smoke bomb which sparked a fire in the dry grass of the meadow in which they were standing.