The 7,000-acre El Dorado Fire was started by a pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party

Gender Reveal Halltoons
@halltoons. Used with permission.

Another large wildfire has been started by a pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party. CAL FIRE determined that the El Dorado Fire which has burned over 7,000 acres near a heavily populated area of San Bernardino County in southern California was started by the use of a smoke generating pyrotechnic device. The intent was to produce pink or blue smoke to inform bystanders (waiting breathlessly nearby) about the gender of a fetus.

The fire began at 10:23 a.m. on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. It spread from the park north to Yucaipa Ridge which separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.

At least two other gender reveal parties that used pyrotechnic devices have started wildfires in recent years.

The 46,000-acre Sawmill Fire southeast of Tucson, Arizona was ignited in 2017 by an off-duty Border Patrol agent. He mixed colored powder into a Tannerite exploding target which would show blue or pink smoke when shot with a rifle, according to his attorney, Sean Chapman. The target exploded as planned and started what became the Sawmill Fire. A witness helpfully recorded a video of the explosion.

In 2020 a gender reveal party in Florida went wrong and sparked a 10-acre fire, also caused by a Tannerite exploding target.

El Dorado Fire
El Dorado Fire, photo by Jeff Zimmerman Sept. 5, 2020.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

13 thoughts on “The 7,000-acre El Dorado Fire was started by a pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party”

  1. If they find they will have to pay for that fire they might think, next time, about hiring a small plane with a pink or blue flag to do a fly over. Those devices should be banned.!!!!!!

    1. It’s not the pyrotechnics, it’s the person using them!! I saw no provisions for fire safety or protection what so ever, no maned water stream 15gal. Extinguishers in site. The placement of the display was insane, in the middle of dry weeds, I saw a fireball, blue display powder being lifted buy a what appears too be a black powder charge. I watched the footage in slow motion, after the fire ball went thru the frame, and the blue smoke cleared out of frame, as the fire ignighted and quickly spread it reveald what appears too be a steel motor, a trapezoid shape buried in the ground. I’m in my 54th. Year making movies, 48 years as a licensed pyrotechion, cal.#1, atf # 33 user of high explosives,
      Atf # 20 manufacturer of high explosives. The video I saw left me stuned,and angry, I complete disaster.

    2. The thing is, if the conditions weren’t as dry as they were the fire would not have happened. It’s not the parents or whoever set off the device’s fault, it’s more of Mother Natures fault.

      1. That’s the biggest pile of BS I’ve heard in quite a while. Why don’t you go tell that to the family of the firefighter who was died while battling this fire. And don’t forget to tell the people who lost their homes and possessions either.

      2. You are joking of course. Aren’t you? Mother nature’s fault? So if someone burns your house down with a smoke bomb one sunny day it’s mother nature’s fault since it wasn’t raining and your house was dry. Either you are 6 years old, a troll, or have brain damage. But that’s Mother Nature’s handiwork.

  2. I love it, Bill…bystanders (waiting breathlessly nearby)…my sentiments exactly. Whatever happened to “Hey, we’re having a baby, it’s a boy!” Done.

  3. What a shame…to have what should be one of the happiest times in a young families life turn into tragedy. They really should ban these devices…tie a ribbon on the tree instead…or What we did…I will tell you after it is born…the old fashioned way… Let god do the reveal himself!

  4. If fire restrictions were in place, which generally restrict the use of pyrotechnic devices, I hope they are charged with a crime and have to appear in court and be sentenced. If anyone lost homes or other property, I hope they sue the people as well. Some of the money allocated for firefighting should be used to buy radio, TV, etc time to show how much people like this have to pay, whether a large monetary sum or time in jail, or both. That should help people to think twice before acting so thoughtlessly. There’s no excuse for this behavior.

  5. Here’s a great ( safe ) alternative for a “gender reveal” party.

    Pass out envelopes to all the guests, and on a countdown, everyone opens them.

    If the envelope contains one dollar… it’s a boy.
    If the envelope contains 72 cents… it’s a girl.

  6. Tell the folks who lost their homes, lifetime memories, treasured possessions and favorite horse the gender of
    you’re child !
    I am confident they will be so caught up in the moment they will forget their petty little problems.

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