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California wildfire started by pyrotechnic device used at gender-reveal party

The El Dorado Fire in Southern California burned through 7,050 acres and was 5 percent contained.

One of 23 major wildfires burning in California was started by a pyrotechnic device used at a gender-reveal party, authorities said Sunday.

The El Dorado Fire in Southern California was caused by a “smoke generating pyrotechnic device,” said the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention in a statement.

The fire started Saturday morning at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, about 72 miles east of Los Angeles. It scorched 7,050 acres by Sunday night and was 5 percent contained, Cal Fire said.

Firefighters battled the El Dorado Fire and other wildfires as the state sweltered under recording-breaking temperatures.

Cal Fire did not provide any further details about the gender-reveal party.

This isn't the first instance in recent years where a gender-reveal party has resulted in a highly destructive wildfire. The 2017 Sawmill Fire in Arizona burned more than 45,000 acres, including parts of the Coronado National Forest, after a Border Patrol agent shot a rifle at a target as part of his family's gender-reveal.

Dennis Dickey pleaded guilty in 2018 to starting the fire, which caused an estimated $8 million in damage. The target he shot at was filled with a colored substance, which would come out either pink or blue based on the baby's sex, but also contained the highly explosive material Tannerite.

Video released by the U.S. Forest Service showed blue smoke coming from the target after it was shot and a grassy area nearby began to burn almost instantly. Dickey called authorities to alert them to the fire.

Dickey agreed to five years of probation and more than $8.1 million in restitution with an initial payment of $100,000.