POLITICS

California wildfire: Couple whose gender-reveal party triggered 2020 fires arrested

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A couple has been charged in connection to the El Dorado wildfire that occurred in September. The couple reportedly faces a sentence extending up to 20 years.

California wildfire

IMAGE: AP


A couple has been charged in connection to the El Dorado wildfire that occurred in September 2020. A gender reveals party organised by the couple has been blamed for the California wildfire. Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr and Angela Renee Jimenez have been charged with several offences over the El Dorado fire. 

Couple charged in connection to wildfire

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez pleaded not guilty to charges involving the El Dorado Fire, reported AP citing San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson. The couple were released on their own recognizance and are due to appear in court on 15 September. The El Dorado Fire began on September 5 in El Dorado Park near Yucaipa and covered over 22,000 acres in California. The fire incident led to the death of one firefighter and 13 others were injured, according to the information on InciWeb. The fire forced the evacuations of Oak Glen, north Yucaipa, Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, and Angelus Oaks residents. The fire was fully contained in November. 

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the press release issued at that time alleged that the El Dorado Fire, burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a “smoke generating pyrotechnic” device. They said that the device was used during a gender reveal party. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had urged the public to be responsible as negligence could cause a massive wildfire.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time a gender-reveal announcement has had dangerous consequences. In a similar incident, an explosive device set off at a gender-reveal party sparked a wildfire in Canada. It had resulted in the expected parents being charged a $500 fine, authorities said. According to The Independent, the party, which took place in Alberta, Canada, was just a few miles from Fort McMurray Forest Area. The device was only supposed to release blue or pink powder to identify the baby’s sex when it was detonated, however, it caused an inferno, which grew to about an acre before it was extinguished.

IMAGE: AP

Inputs from AP

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