Last Updated on September 9, 2020
As the Internet reels from the revelation that one of the California wildfires was apparently started using pyrotechnics at a gender reveal party for expecting parents, video has resurfaced showing the pyrotechnics that led to a similar fire in Arizona in 2017.
In 2017, The Sawmill fire in Arizona consumed nearly 47,000 acres of federal land, and was apparently started when Arizona man Dennis Dickey shot a blue target to signal his new child would be a boy. The target exploded in a gulf of flames that quickly spread to extremely dry grass nearby, quickly exploding into the Sawmill fire.
Dickey, who reported the fire to police and cooperated with authorities, was ultimately sentenced to pay $300,000 in restitution, and to probation for five years.
On Sunday, The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection revealed that the El Dorado Fire, “burning near Oak Glen in San Bernardino County, was caused by a smoke generating pyrotechnic device, used during a gender reveal party.”
Gender reveal parties are a modern trend, popularized through social media, where expecting parents inform friends and relatives of the gender of their unborn child through innovative means, some apparently featuring explosives and pyrotechnics.
The agency’s press release explains, “CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire,” and reminds Californians that “Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible.”
On Wednesday, San Francisco plunged into an eerie red twilight throughout the day due to smoke particles in the atmosphere from nearby wildfires.
Videos show various scenes of the city cloaked in a red filter created by smoke particles in the atmosphere, which scatter blue light, and only allow yellow, orange, and red parts of the spectrum to reach the surface.
NBC Bay Area news anchor Raj Mathai wrote “Simple. Bizarre. ‘Smoke particles scatter blue light & only allow yellow-orange-red light to reach the surface, causing skies to look orange.’ – Air Quality District.”
San Francisco: 10am. Simply. Bizarre. “Smoke particles scatter blue light & only allow yellow-orange-red light to reach the surface, causing skies to look orange.” – Air Quality District (video from @LombardiHimself) @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/HZgVFvBLbk
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) September 9, 2020