(WCMH) — The woman largely credited for popularizing the gender reveal party took to Facebook Monday to condemn the practice after learning a California wildfire was started by one such event.
“Stop having these stupid parties. For the love of God, stop burning things down to tell everyone about your kid’s penis. No one cares but you,” Jenna Karvunidis wrote in a Facebook post.
The wildfire that has burned more than 7,000 acres in Yucaipa and surrounding areas was caused by an explosive used during a gender reveal party, KTLA reported.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire started at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa on Saturday morning, when a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device at the party sparked the flames.
Dubbed the El Dorado Fire, it more than doubled in size Sunday as firefighters grappled with challenging weather conditions of extreme heat and low humidity.
In 2008, Karvunidis was pregnant with her oldest child, Bianca. She held a party during which she used a cake filled with pink icing to announce the baby’s sex. She wrote about it on her blog, which quickly went viral.
Last year, she told NPR she just wanted to celebrate her pregnancy with her family.
“I mean gosh, I just like to throw parties,” she said. “I just thought it would be really fun for everybody in the whole family to find out.”
In June, Karvunidis told The Guardian she regretted starting the trend.
“When I first saw that a gender-reveal party had caused a forest fire I cried because I felt responsible, she said.
In April 2017, U.S. Forest Service officials said a gender reveal event sparked the 47,000-acre Sawmill Fire in the Santa Rita Mountain’s foothills, more than 40 miles southeast of Tucson, Arizona, NewsNation reported.
That blaze began after Dennis Dickey, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, shot a target that contained Tannerite during a gender reveal party.
The damages totaled more than $8 million.