A gender reveal party in Florida that used explosives ended up sparking a 10-acre wildfire, which officials said endangered resources needed to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus in the state.
The incident happened in Titusville, a city on the state’s Atlantic coast, roughly 35 miles from Orlando. Authorities said the gender reveal party went awry and that explosives used as part of the festivities ended up sparking a fire.
As the Associated Press reported, the incident came during a delicate time, when local officials are trying to focus all their attention on slowing the spread of COVID-19.
“The county has been prohibiting open burning because of an increase in fires. Officials say to follow the rules in order to avoid straining medical resources during the coronavirus pandemic,” the report noted.
Gender reveal parties have become an increasingly popular trend as pregnant couples gather friends and family for a celebration revealing the gender of their soon-to-be born baby. Some of these have become very intricate, using fireworks or other explosives to shoot clouds of smoke or dust in either blue or pink, denoting the baby’s gender.
This is not the first time that a mishap at a gender reveal party has led to catastrophe. As The Inquisitr reported back in 2018, an Arizona border patrol agent was hit with a massive fine after his gender reveal party sparked a fire that burned 47,000 acres.
As Tuscon.com reported, Dennis Dickey was ordered to pay $220,000 in fines after pleading guilty to federal charges of starting a fire without a proper permit. Dickey had used a highly explosive substance called Tannerite to light and burn when shot with a bullet, but the fire sparked by the explosive quickly got out of control.
“Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated, and admitted that he started the fire,” Service Special Agent Brent Robinson wrote in official court documents.
According to Colorado Public Radio, U.S. Attorney John Walsh said the use of Tannerite targets has become popular but also brings dangers. The material has started three fires in Colorado and eight overall in western states since 2012. These fires cost a total of $33 million to fight, he added.
Video caught the Arizona fire, showing the target exploding and quickly setting fire to the countryside.
It was not clear if authorities had a suspect in the gender reveal party gone awry in Florida. The Associated Press noted that violating the state’s ban on burning comes with a $500 fine and potential jail time.