Couple charged in California fire sparked by gender reveal – News Vibe24

    Couple charged in California fire sparked by gender reveal - Times of India
    SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.: A couple whose sex-revealing ceremony sparked a Southern California fire that killed a firefighter last year has been charged with manslaughter, authorities said Tuesday.
    Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez pleaded not guilty Monday to charges related to the El Dorado Fire, San Bernardino District Attorney Jason Anderson told a news conference.
    The charges included a number of felonies of involuntary manslaughter, three counts of causing unintentional arson, four counts of committing unintentional arson, and 22 counts of causing unintentional arson.
    The El Dorado Fire broke out on September 5 when the couple, their young children and someone there to record a video made a baby sex revelation in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa, at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains.
    A pyrotechnic device that produces smoke started in a field and quickly ignited dry grass on a hot day. The couple tried to use bottled water to put out the flames and called 911, authorities said.
    Strong winds ignited the fire as it ran through the desert into national forest land about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
    Extremely dry conditions and heat waves associated with climate change have made fires more difficult to combat. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the last 30 years and will continue to make the weather more extreme and fires more frequent and devastating.
    On September 17, flames engulfed a remote area where firefighters were firing, killing Charles Morton, the 39-year-old leader of the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad. Morton had worked as a firefighter for 18 years, 14 of them with the U.S. Forest Service.
    The fire injured 13 other people and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in small communities in the San Bernardino National Park area. It destroyed five houses and 15 other buildings.
    The blaze engulfed nearly 36 square miles (92 square kilometers) of land in San Bernardino County and Riverside before being limited to Nov. 16.
    The fire was one of thousands during a record season in California that hit more than 4% of the state, destroying nearly 10,500 buildings and killing 33 people.
    The couple was released with their own recognition pending the court date on September 15.


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