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California Wildfire Not The First To Be Caused By Gender Reveal Party

by : Lucy Connolly on : 09 Sep 2020 14:31
California Wildfire Not The First To Be Caused By Gender Reveal PartyCalifornia Wildfire Not The First To Be Caused By Gender Reveal PartyPA Images

Over the weekend, a massive wildfire spread across the Californian city of Yucaipa after a ‘pyrotechnic device’ used at a gender reveal party ignited the surrounding land.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed the ‘smoke generating’ device was the cause of the fire, which began just after 10.20am on Saturday, September 5, at the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa.

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The consequences were devastating, with the fire engulfing more than 7,000 acres of land. However, this isn’t the first time a gender reveal party has caused such destruction. In fact, it isn’t even the most damage that has been caused in this type of situation.

Gender Reveal Party Blamed For Starting Huge Californian WildfireGender Reveal Party Blamed For Starting Huge Californian WildfirePA Images

From setting off fireworks to shooting makeshift targets, it seems some people are willing to go to the extreme when making the announcement, in front of their loved ones, of whether they’re having a baby boy or a girl.

Yet, as we have seen, these actions often have dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences. In one such instance, in 2017, party-goers shot at a target packed with the highly explosive Tannerite, which exploded and subsequently ignited the surrounding land, which led to a wildfire in Arizona spanning 47,000 acres.

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The dad-to-be who was responsible for it, Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey, was handed five years’ probation for a misdemeanour violation by the US Forest Service and fine for more than $8 million. ‘It was a complete accident,’ Dickey insisted at the time, The New York Post reports. He said he felt ‘absolutely horrible’ about it, adding: ‘It was probably one of the worst days of my life.’

California Wildfire Gender RevealCalifornia Wildfire Gender RevealPA Images

More recently, in April 2018, a car emitting blue smoke to celebrate a baby boy reveal burst into flames in Australia. ‘This is the first one I’ve seen like this,’ a spokeswoman for the Queensland Police Service told The Washington Post at the time. ‘Usually, people just have a cake.’

Last September, a gender reveal party caused a plane crash in Texas when an individual hired the aircraft to surprise a friend. The pilot was flying at low altitude when it dumped more than 300 gallons of pink water from the plane, causing the aircraft to stall. Thankfully, the pilot was not injured.

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One month later, a family in Iowa accidentally made a pipe bomb while experimenting with ‘different types of explosive material’ in the hopes of creating a gender reveal device, as per CNN.

grandmother killed during gender revealgrandmother killed during gender revealKCCI

When the device exploded, it sent shrapnel flying, striking 56-year-old grandmother Pamela Kreimeyer in the head and killing her. ‘This family got together for what they thought was going to be a happy event with no intent for anyone to get hurt,’ Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt said.

Things are getting so out of hand, in fact, that the woman largely credited for creating the gender reveal party craze recently told anyone holding them to ‘stop’, describing the often over-the-top parties as ‘stupid’ and pleading with anyone considering having one not to.

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Hopefully, people will heed her advice and consider all of the risks before thinking of holding such a party in the future.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, California, California wildfires, Now, US, Wildfires

Credits

The New York Post and 2 others
  1. The New York Post

    Border Patrol agent admits starting massive wildfire at gender-reveal party

  2. The Washington Post

    Use A Bit Of Common Sense: Gender Reveal Party Stunt Ends With A Car Erupting In Flames

  3. CNN

    Partygoers thought they'd built a clever gender reveal device. It turned out to be a deadly pipe bomb