The El Dorado fire in California, which has burned more than 7,000 acres since it started on Saturday, was caused by pyrotechnics at a “gender reveal party,” according to authorities.
A smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used during the party started the fire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) in San Bernardino said in a statement Sunday.
CAL FIRE issued a reminder to the public that dry conditions and critical weather mean fires can start easily. The El Dorado fire was only 5 per cent contained as of late Sunday.
California is currently experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons on record. Last month saw unprecedented fires across the state, due in part to rising temperatures and ageing electrical infrastructure.
State Governor Gavin Newsom issued an emergency proclamation Sunday for counties hit by the Creek Fire, El Dorado Fire and the Valley Fire.
The blazes have burned tens of thousands of acres, destroyed homes and caused the evacuation of thousands of residents, Newsom said in a statement.
San Diego, close to the border with Mexico, San Bernardino, to the east of Los Angeles, and Fresno, some 300 kilometres north of Los Angeles, were among the affected counties.
The state is under a fire weather watch until Wednesday due to gusty winds and low humidity.
On Sunday, record-breaking temperatures hit parts of the state.
The National Weather Service recorded a high of 49.4 degrees Celsius at Woodland Hills, which it called the highest official temperature ever recorded in Los Angeles County. The previous record was 48.3 degrees in July 2006.
In Paso Robles, a city famous for wineries in San Luis Obispo County, the metal hit 47.2 degrees, surpassing the record of 46.7 degrees from 2017.
The city of Burbank, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, matched its all-time high temperature of 45.5, the National Weather Service said.
200 people trapped by the Creek Fire in Sierra National Forest were rescued Saturday night by helicopter from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area.
The California National Guard also warned that people across the state could face power outages over the Labor Day holiday weekend due to high temperatures.
Satellite imagery showed enormous amounts of smoke had entered the skies above the western state by Saturday evening.
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