Fire fighting aircraft in the fight against the "El Dorado" fire
Terry Pierson / dpa
So-called »gender reveal parties« have been popular with expectant parents for years.
These celebrations reveal in a more or less creative way whether the child is a girl or a boy.
Again and again, however, these parties get out of hand.
A couple in California are now on trial for negligent homicide in connection with a fatal forest fire.
The couple is accused of setting off a fire at their "Gender Reveal Party" last September by igniting a smoke bomb, the public prosecutor in the San Bernardino district announced on Wednesday (local time).
Around 500 firefighters and several fire-fighting helicopters were in action.
A firefighter was killed while extinguishing the rapidly spreading fire.
The so-called "El Dorado" fire raged over an area of almost 90 square kilometers, displaced thousands of residents and destroyed several houses.
The authorities had previously warned that in the face of heat and drought, there was an extreme risk of forest fires and negligent or illegal use of fire was a criminal offense.
Nevertheless, "a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device" was used, which triggered the fire, as the fire protection authority CAL Fire announced at the time.
Those responsible could face jail
The couple pleaded "not guilty".
The defendants have to appear again in court in mid-September.
If found guilty, there is a jail sentence.
Last year, California experienced the most devastating forest fire season on record.
More than 30 people were killed and over 10,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed.
After an extremely dry winter, the forest fires on the US west coast started unusually early this year.
There are currently dozens of burns in California, Oregon, Washington, and western Canada.
jok / dpa