An American couple whose gender reveal party last year was accused of starting a deadly California wildfire face up to 20 years in prison, officials say.
Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr and Angela Renee Jimenez have been charged with several offenses, including manslaughter, in the El Dorado fire.
Officials say a smoke bomb used at the gender event last September started the blaze, in which a firefighter was killed and others injured.
The couple have pleaded not guilty.
The El Dorado fire lasted more than two months and covered more than 22,000 acres in Southern California, destroying homes and other property.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, alleged that a “smoke-generating pyrotechnic device” used at a gender reveal party near the town of Yucaipa September 5 was the cause of the fire.
The forest fire was finally extinguished on November 16.
Firefighter Charles Morton was killed fighting the blaze and several other firefighters were seriously injured.
San Bernardino County officials said on Tuesday the couple who hosted the gender reveal party were charged with manslaughter and recklessly starting a fire causing injuries and damage to homes.
They face prison terms “of” up to 20 years if convicted on all counts, prosecutors said.
The couple are due in court on September 15.
Gender reveal parties are celebrations announcing whether future parents are going to have a girl or a boy.
They can include prediction games, with the “big reveal” being made with fireworks and colorful smoke grenades.
In recent years, several major parties have gone wrong.
In February, future father Christopher Pekny, 28, died after a device he was building for his child’s gender reveal party allegedly exploded.
The United States is currently battling a massive wildfire in the state of Oregon that has already burned an area larger than the city of Los Angeles, causing thousands of evacuations.
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