Gender Reveal Gone Deadly: The El Dorado Fire


A gender reveal smoke bomb.

On September 5, a couple set out for El Dorado Ranch Park, California, to celebrate and reveal the gender of their baby. The pyrotechnic device they brought (essentially a firework or smoke-bomb) was going to send out a wave of either pink or blue colored smoke. But what the couple wasn’t expecting when they ignited the device, was all of the red hot flames that engulfed it, and the surrounding land.

A gender reveal smoke bomb.

The dry, hot, grass surrounding the device made for easy fuel to feed the quickly growing fire. The couple tried to dump water on the flames in a feeble attempt to put it out, but they were fresh out of luck. After the water failed to disperse the flames, they proceeded to call 911 and get in contact with the fire department to handle the quickly escalating situation. The fire proceeded to sweep towards the Yucaipa Ridge and threatened to burn down a close by residential neighborhood.

Smoke rising in the air from the El Dorado Fire.

Come Monday night, the fire, barely contained, had burned through nearly 10,000 acres.  20,000 people were ordered to evacuate because of the closeness of the fire to their homes.

Gender reveal related fires aren’t uncommon. About 18,500 fires are started every year by people setting off fireworks, gender reveal parties, and other various actives.

Stop having these stupid parties, For the love of God, stop burning things down.”

— Jenna Meyers Karvunidis, (Blogger)

Karvunidis made gender reveal parties popular when she threw one to announce her oldest daughter’s gender, back in 2008. She and her husband had a cake made with pink frosting filling, so that when it was cut, it would reveal that her baby was a girl. But despite her previous positive feelings towards gender reveal parties, she is now begging people to stop having them due to increasingly more dangerous activities being involved in the parties.

Some of the residents who live near El Dorado, find it astonishing that anyone would set off a smoke bomb at the peak of summer, when it’s hottest and driest. “It’s a meadow of dry, brown, dead grass,” Oak Glen resident, Patrick Patterson, told KABC. “Why would you go out there and think that you can light off any kind of firework?”

Helicopter in the El Dorado Fire. (Ringo H.W. Chiu)

But the El Darado fire isn’t the only fire burning through California. California’s summer has been of of the hottest summers recorded, and it’s not surprising that there are more than a dozen other fires that have been started this year.

The El Doraod fire was 23% contained as of Thursday morning, burning about 12,610 acres. It has caused over 21,000 residents to have to evacuate, and many more have been told to be prepared to evacuated as the El Dorado Fire burns closer and closer to their homes.

Fox News