A firefighter in California died on Thursday after battling an enormous wildfire that was sparked earlier in the month by a family’s gender-reveal stunt according to federal officials.
The death occurred in the San Bernardino National Forest, where firefighters have been attempting to extinguish the El Dorado fire, US Forest Service officials stated.
Both the cause as well as circumstances of the death are being investigated.
The identity of the firefighter has not yet been released, pending notification of family.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” Zach Behrens, Forest Service spokesperson said in a news release.
The wildfire started on Sept. 5 when a family visited the El Dorado Ranch Park and used a pyrotechnic device to reveal the sex of their unborn baby with colored smoke or fireworks.
But the blast quickly sparked a fire that the family was unable to extinguish.
The El Dorado fire has now burned over 19,000 acres and destroyed at least four homes, according to fficials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire on Thursday.
Over 1,300 firefighters have been attempting to get the blaze under control and at least 12 of them have been injured.
Earlier in the month, the family allegedly had been cooperating with authorities with Cal Fire officials but no arrests have been made.
In Arizona back in 2017, a gender-reveal stunt by a Border Patrol agent in Arizona ignited a massive wildfire that burned 47,000 acres of grasslands over two weeks.
The agent pleaded guilty to accidentally starting the fire and, as part of a plea agreement, agreed to pay $220,000 in restitution.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.