LOS ANGELES – In September, as a record-breaking heat wave hit southern California, a couple set off a smoke-emitting pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party in a Yucaipa park.
Such devices usually emit blue or pink smoke to signal the sex of an expected child. In this case, the aircraft set off a rapid brush fire.
The El Dorado fire, as it came to be known, ultimately charred 22,000 acres and resulted in the death of US Forest Service firefighter Charles Morton. Two firefighters were injured in the blaze. The blaze injured 13 other people, forced hundreds to evacuate and destroyed five homes.
On Tuesday afternoon, authorities announced that manslaughter charges had been filed against Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angelina Renee Jimenez in connection with the fire. According to the San Bernardino County District, they were also charged with three counts of recklessly causing a fire with grievous bodily harm, four counts of burning inhabited structures and 22 counts. felony charge of arson of the property of others, according to the San Bernardino County District. law firm.
At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson said the defendants were brought to justice on Tuesday and both pleaded not guilty. They were released without bail.
âNo less than six agencies have been involved in the containment, extinction and investigation of the El Dorado fire,â Anderson said. “I would like to personally thank the United States Forest Service, Cal Fire, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Homicide Division, and the City of Yucaipa.”
Anderson also thanked the public for their patience during the investigation and review of the case, saying he was aware that many in the community could at times be frustrated with the pace of the investigation.
– Los Angeles Times