A massive California wildfire sparked by a pyrotechnic device used at a gender reveal party has spread to almost 10,000 acres – and was only 7 percent contained, according to a report.
The El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County had destroyed 9,671 acres as of late Monday night, according to fire officials who said the conflagration is “one of the most dangerous fires” they’ve seen in the area, CNN reported.
Evacuations have been ordered as homes have been threatened by the spreading flames.
“In my 30 years as a citizen in Yucaipa, I have never seen such a large fire,” Yucaipa Mayor David Avila told reporters Monday. “As a retired firefighter with 32 years of experience, I can assure you I witnessed one of the most dangerous fires that we can have in this area.”
No injuries have been reported and no structures have so far been, CalFire spokeswoman Cathey Mattingly told CNN.
“The hard work of crews on the ground, dozers and aircraft have enabled a lot of great work to be accomplished as fire lines continue to be constructed around the fire in preparation for the upcoming Red Flag Santa Ana Wind event starting at noon tomorrow and lasting through Wednesday,” the San Bernardino National Forest said in a statement.
Investigators have reviewed surveillance footage that showed a couple with several kids walking into the grass while another person appears to light a device, CalFire investigator Capt. Bennet Milloy told CNN.
After it ignites, the family is seen grabbing water bottles to try and put out the flames. Everyone involved in the incident is cooperating in the probe, Milloy said.
Investigators have identified at least three laws that have been broken, including “igniting the land” and arson, CNN reported. The level of recklessness will determine whether those are filed as misdemeanors or felonies.
If the district attorney pursues the case, the person who set off the pyrotechnic device would be the one charged, Milloy told the network.
“It really is a tragedy, it’s sad. They were hoping to remember the day in a different way,” Milloy said. “You need to be extra cautious because you could be liable.”
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