ABC NewsBY: IVAN PEREIRA
(OAK GLEN, Calif.) — A gender reveal photo shoot allegedly caused one of this weekend’s destructive wildfires in California, according to firefighters.
Representatives from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, aka Cal Fire, said a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device that was used during the photo op on Sept. 5 allegedly sparked the El Dorado fire, which is burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County.
The couple, their younger children and an adult with a cellphone, allegedly used colored smoke devices that are typically long cylinders with a fuse and burn, according to Cal Fire.
The fire began around 10:30 a.m. in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa and spread north, according to Cal Fire.
As of Monday afternoon, the El Dorado fire has spread over 7,386 acres, damaged some structures in Oak Glen and forced evacuations of several residences, Cal Fire said. The blaze was 7% contained as of Monday afternoon, firefighters said.
Cal Fire said the family has been cooperative with law enforcement and firefighters. The county district attorney’s office will determine if they will face charges, according to Cal Fire.
The El Dorado fire was one of several wildfires ravaging the state, which has been experiencing record heat over the weekend.
The Creek fire has forced Fresno and Madera County mountain communities to evacuate as the blaze has encompassed 78,790 acres so far according to Cal Fire. The Valley fire has damaged 11 structures near San Diego and has encompassed 10,258 acres so far, Cal Fire said.
The Bobcat fire near Los Angeles has encompassed 4,871 acres so far. Smoke conditions from the fires were visible as far east as Utah, according to maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The U.S. Forest Service closed down several forests in Southern California Monday and prohibited the use of ignition devices in all forests throughout the state to prevent more fires from erupting.
California has been seeing a surge in wildfires since Aug. 15 due to excessive heat and thunderstorms, according to officials. Since that date, the fires have burned over 1.7 million acres, forced over 22,000 people to evacuate and destroyed over 3,300 structures, Cal Fire said.
In 2020 alone, 7,563 fires have affected over 2.1 million acres in the state, a new record, according to Cal Fire.
ABC News’ Jenna Harrison contributed to this report.
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