The gender-reveal party craze is out of control—literally.
A wildfire raged across Southern California’s San Bernardino County over the holiday weekend, scorching 10,000 acres and counting, CNN reports. The culprit? A “pyrotechnic device” used at a gender-reveal party on Saturday at El Dorado Ranch Park in at Yucaipa, just 70 miles east of Los Angeles.
We couldn’t make this up if we tried.
As of Monday night, the El Dorado Fire is only 7% contained. Yucaipa Mayor David Avila, a retired firefighter, described the blaze to CNN as “one of the most dangerous fires” he’s ever seen in the area. No injuries have been reported, although some 21,000 Californians have been forced to evacuate their homes.
Sadly, it’s not the first time one of these completely unnecessary parties has had disastrous consequences. Last October, a pipe bomb at a gender-reveal party in Iowa killed one attendee. And in July 2018, a couple in Philadelphia hosting one such party accidentally set off fireworks in their loved ones’ faces.
Am I remembering it correctly that this is the SECOND wildfire started by a gender reveal party?
— jeffrey marsh (@thejeffreymarsh) September 7, 2020
Jenna Karvunidis—the blogger credited with inventing the gender-reveal party all the way back in 2008—even denounced the idea last summer after her 10-year-old child came out to her as nonbinary.
After news of this weekend’s wildfire spread like…well, wildfire, Karvunidis took to social media yet again to say enough is enough.
“Stop it. Stop having these stupid parties,” she pleaded on Facebook. “For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you.”
“It was 116 degrees in Pasadena yesterday and this tool thought it would be smart to light a fire about his kid’s dick,” Karvunidis added. “Toxic masculinity is men thinking they need to explode something because simply enjoying a baby party is for sissies.”