The San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office has begun examining reports and evidence in the 22,000-acre El Dorado Fire, launched by a botched gender reveal party over the weekend of Labor Day 2020.
The fire started on September 5th at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. The fire burned 22,744 acres for 23 days.
Cal Fire investigators said the fire was started by a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” used to reveal the sex at a botched party.
“They lit this device. It produced smoke that ignited the season grass immediately adjacent. That grass immediately spread to Yucaipa Ridge and eventually Oak Glen,” said CalFire Capt. Bennet Milloy.
The communities of Oak Glen, North Yucaipa, Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls and Angelus Oaks had to be evacuated.
Charles Morton, 39, a 14-year-old San Bernardino National Forest firefighter veteran, was killed in firefighting operations. 13 other firefighters were also injured.
Charles Morton (Courtesy of the San Bernardino National Forest)
The fire was completely contained on November 16, 2020.
Bennet said the family tried to put out the fire but it was too late.
“Though random, it could be considered ‘inconsiderate’. If classified as ‘inconsiderate’ in California, you could be criminally responsible for the burning of the wild land, houses and vehicles that were burned during that time CalFire is not currently looking into this, but it could be civilly responsible for suppressing costs after the fire, “said Captain Bennet.
MORE: How the family responsible for El Dorado Fire could be prosecuted
Officials have never disclosed whether the family has been charged or not, but Bennet mentioned back in September 2020 that possible charges will not be investigated until after the fire is extinguished and the DA office investigates.
“I imagine this would be a terribly traumatic experience for you. You would have a happy family moment that obviously went terribly wrong,” said Bennet.
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The DA office reported that they received full investigation reports from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department earlier this week.
“The assistant district attorneys assigned to the case will begin reviewing these reports, as well as the CalFire investigative reports and reviewing all other reports and evidence,” a statement from the DA office said.
The DA office notes that a submission decision is expected by March 1, 2021 at the latest.
Stat with News Channel 3 for more updates.
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