The tragedy began last Saturday morning, when one of the fires that plague every summer in California originated in Rancho Dorado Park, located in a rugged natural area where hikers go every week near the San Bernardino mountains and where almost 3,000 hectares of land have already been burned.
In that area, an unidentified couple organized a party with their friends and young children to reveal the gender of their baby, while filming the moment. As detailed by Captain Bennet Milloy of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the family entered an area and set off a smoke pyrotechnic device that, when ignited, caused the tall, dry grass typical of the summer to catch fire. The combustion, fueled by the high temperatures, low humidity, dry vegetation and strong breeze, spread quickly.
Surveillance cameras caught the couple running frantically to their vehicle to collect water bottles in an attempt to quell the flames.
The firefighters tried to stop the flames, which in a matter of seconds spread out of control. It was at this point that the couple confessed what had happened and showed the recorded material to the authorities.
Now the couple could face the cost of the extinguishing work as well as the cost of compensation for the damage caused in the area, including criminal charges for minor or serious crimes.