After a gender reveal party caused a massive fire in California, the couple responsible may owe millions. A “smoke generating pyrotechnic device” ignited the large El Dorado fire, which has burned through more than 7,000 acres.
Bennett Milloy, a spokesperson for California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told the Daily Mail the couple would be held responsible.
“We know how it started because they were still there,” Milloy said. “That, and the fact that there were surveillance cameras in the park.”
Officials expect the bill for the damages and “suppression costs” to total in the millions of dollars. In addition to financial woes, the couple could find themselves behind bars. The charges would be more severe if the fire destroyed people’s homes. Milloy said authorities could charge the couple with violating multiple public resources codes. They could also be charged with arson, which carries a up to nine year sentence.
“They genuinely believed it was an accident,” Milloy added. “But I think now they understand the gravity of the situation.”
The fire started due to a gender reveal party on Sept. 5.
The fire started on the morning of Sept. 5, in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The park is located about 75 miles east of Los Angeles. The fire spread northward into the Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls communities.
“It burned in four different directions since we’ve been here,” Ben Holmes told CBS. Holmes is a U.S. Forest Service senior firefighter on the Arroyo Grande Hotshots team. “It was pushing to the east, then to the north, and then big westwardly wind shift, and (Sunday) it moved to the south. The wind has been pretty dramatically inconsistent.”
Firefighters have contained 7 percent of the fire so far, according to Fox News.
Since August 15, firefighters in the state have battled hundreds of fires. This includes two of the largest in the state’s history. East of San Jose, the SCU Lightning Complex Fire covers 363,000 acres. Meanwhile in the northern Bay Area, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire covers 352,900 acres, according to CNN.
[H/T: Daily Mail]