It's perhaps time for expectant parents of a certain ilk to understand that not everyone at the local fire department cares about the gender of your coming bundle of joy. In the latest gender reveal party gone horribly, horribly wrong, Cal Fire—which is more than a little busy these days—says in a press release that a "smoke generating pyrotechnic device" at such a party started the El Dorado Fire, which had burned through 7,000 acres as of Monday morning. More than 500 firefighters have been deployed, reports CNN. Related coverage:
- Warning: Cal Fire reminds people that with the critically hot, dry conditions, "those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible." For example, this guy's gender reveal party burned through 47,000 acres, cost $8 million, and got him fined $220,000.
- Farmers: In rural areas of northern California, farmers are largely being left to fight wildfires on their own, reports Modern Farmer. Fire crews are tapped out and being required to respond to more heavily populated areas. Not helping: An estimated 14,000 lightning strikes since mid-August, say fire and farming officials.
- Dangerous type: The California wildfires dominating headlines this weekend are what's known as "plume-dominated" fires, reports the Washington Post, which explains that these happen when "the environment is favorable for the upward billowing of smoke and vertical transfer of heat." Plume-dominated fires are particularly dangerous because they have the structure of thunderstorms and can turn into fast-spreading firestorms.
- The power, too: Amid the extreme heat, Californians in the northern and central parts of the state might face power shortages this week thanks to an expected windstorm, reports the Wall Street Journal. Rolling blackouts by PG&E are a possibility.
- Unwanted record: San Francisco reached 100 degrees on Sunday, breaking the same-day record of 92 set in 1904, reports the Chronicle. (LA County was even hotter this weekend.)
- Hiker's death: Hiking trails in Los Angeles County have been shut down after a female hiker collapsed and died over the weekend, reports NBC News. The cause of death hasn't been determined, but foul play is not suspected.
- Harrowing rescue: The Fresno Bee has details on the airlift rescue of dozens of people trapped in the Sierra National Forest. At one point, people were instructed that they might have to jump into the Mammoth Pool Reservoir to escape the flames.
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