A California wildfire, that started on Saturday at 10.23am at a gender reveal party, is leaving the family that hosted the party at risk of prison time and multi-million dollar fines. The fire has so far destroyed 7,050 acres of land 40 miles northeast of Palm Springs.
As the wildfire rages on, California has reached a record temperature of 121 degrees Farenheit.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection confirmed that a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device, which is devices that are sometimes used to release blue or pink smoke to announce the gender of an expected baby, caused the fire.
The department also added that 527 people from 10 fire crews are currently trying to halt the fire's progress, which spread from the El Dorado Ranch Park north, onto the Yucaipa Ridge where the ridge separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from the City of Yucaipa.
Bennet Milloy, spokesman for the department confirmed that the people hosting the party were still on the scene when the firefighters arrived and added that; "We know how it started because they were still there. That, and the fact that there were surveillance cameras in the park."
Bennet added that the family could be held responsible for the entire cost of putting the fire out, amounting to many millions of dollars, and that the civil costs were deemed "suppression costs".
The family could also be hit with violations of public resources codes and even arson, under California's penal code, section 452, if residential homes are destroyed.
However Bennet added that 'They understood the seriousness of the fire,' and that ‘They genuinely believed it was an accident. But I think now they understand the gravity of the situation.'
No injuries have been reported however about 30 homes were threatened by the fire which led to Evacuation orders that are in place for the communities of Oak Glen, Yucaipa Ridge, Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls.
Fire fighters are currently using 60 fire engines and four helicopters to douse the flames with water.
“CAL FIRE reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn't take much to start a wildfire. Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially responsible and criminally responsible.”
The governor of California, Gavin Newsom declares a state of emergency in five countries including San Bernardino, on Sunday.
'We need to keep the firefighters we do have focused on firefighting and not on managing people,' fire department officials stated.
Firefighters are currently battling 23 wildfires, which have so far destroyed 1.6 million acres across the whole of California, and almost 15,000 firefighters were working to douse the flames, and battling against record temperatures in the state.
“The National Weather Service has issued multiple Fire Weather Watches and Red Flag Warnings for this weekend and into next week due to potential critical fire weather including strong gusty wind and low humidity,” the fire service stated.
A Red Flag Warning went into effect across much of the Inland Empire, San Diego, the mountains of Santa Barbara to Los Angeles County, and Modoc County .