A gender reveal party went horribly wrong after a smoke machine sparked huge wildfires that have destroyed 7,000 acres and forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.
The blaze started in El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, California, US, on Saturday morning after the machine, which is often used to generate pink or blue smoke to indicate the gender of an expected baby, malfunctioned.
More than 600 firefighters and four helicopters were battling the El Dorado blaze east of San Bernardino, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.
The huge fires also led to 3,00 residents being evacuated from their homes, with authorities confirming that no injuries have been reported.
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection revealed the fire’s cause on Sunday night, along with a warning to California residents of the state’s dangerous fire conditions.
In a news release, Cal Fire wrote: "Law Enforcement has determined the El Dorado fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating Pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party.
"The fire began on September 5, 2020, in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa.
"The fire spread from the park to the north on to Yucaipa Ridge that separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.
“Cal fire reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire.
“Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible.”
The New York Post reports that it is unclear if anyone will be charged over the incident.
Authorities are yet to reveal what the gender of the baby ultimately was.
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