A California firefighter died this week while battling a wildfire officials said was sparked by a device used at a gender reveal party.
“USDA Forest Service officials on the San Bernardino National Forest have confirmed the death of a firefighter on the El Dorado Fire. The incident took place on Thursday, September 17, 2020,” officials said in a press release Friday.
The firefighter’s name was withheld pending the family’s notification.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” the release stated, adding that the cause remained under investigation.
The California Fire Department (Cal Fire) said “a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used during a baby’s gender reveal party” started the initial blaze.
“The devices are sometimes used to release blue or pink smoke to announce the gender of an expected baby. The family that hosted the event is now at risk of prison time and multi-million dollar fines,” the report said.
The fire began the morning of September 5 at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, located 72 miles east of Los Angeles.
Cal Fire reported Friday that statewide there were 18,500 firefighters battling 27 major wildfires and more than 2.9 million acres had so far been burned:
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) September 18, 2020
Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and author of False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet, said Thursday that California’s ongoing forest fires were mainly due to poor forest management.
“It has fairly little to do with climate change, and it has almost everything to do with the fact that we haven’t managed our forest well,” Lomborg noted during an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
“We haven’t done prescribed burning. We haven’t ensured that these fires won’t burn out of control,” he explained.
Fundamentally, we have suppressed fires for more than a hundred years. That obviously makes good sense that you’d rather not have fires than fires, but what happens is you build up lots and lots of fuelwood that is basically going to give you much hotter, much fiercer fires later on.
In August, the United States Forest Service and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) agreed on a $1 billion plan to “clear vegetation that fuels fires on one million acres annually by 2025, with a plan on how to do that in place in 2021.”