The couple were charged with manslaughter in the 2020 fire, which resulted in the death of a firefighter.
A couple’s gender reveal ceremony sparked a wildfire in California, U.S. Killed a fireman He was charged with manslaughter last year.
Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr and Angela Renee Jimenez discussed Eldorado fire in 2020, San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
These charges include a felony of involuntary manslaughter, as well as other felony and misdemeanor crimes related to the fire.
On September 5, the couple and their children held a baby “gender secret” event at El Dorado Ranch Park in Ukepa, at the foot of San Bernardino Mountain, and the fire broke out.
A smoke-producing pyrotechnic device was ignited in a field, quickly igniting dry grass on a hot day. Authorities said the couple frantically tried to put out the fire with bottled water and called 911.
When the fire passed through the wilderness of the National Woodland about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Los Angeles, strong winds fueled the fire.
On September 17, the flames spread to a remote area where firefighters were removing growth to stop the fire from spreading, killing the 39-year-old leader of the elite Big Bear inter-agency hotspot group Charles Morton. Morton worked as a firefighter for 18 years, mainly with the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire scorched nearly 92 square kilometers (36 square miles), injured 13 people and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents from small communities in the San Bernardino National Forest. It destroyed 5 houses and 15 other buildings.
Extremely dry conditions and heat waves associated with climate change make wildfires more difficult to extinguish.
Over the past 30 years, climate change has made the western United States warmer and drier, and will continue to make the weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.
The fire was one of thousands of fires that occurred during California’s record wildfire season. The fire scorched more than 4% of the state and destroyed nearly 10,500 buildings and killed 33 people.
Before the court date on September 15, the couple were released on their own guarantee.