Manslaughter Charges in El Dorado Fire, Sparked by a Gender Reveal

A Southern California couple are going through manslaughter expenses in reference to a lethal wildfire final September that prosecutors say was sparked by a smoke bomb throughout a gender reveal.

The El Dorado Fire, which started at a park in Yucaipa, Calif., killed a firefighter and injured two different firefighters whereas burning greater than 22,000 acres throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

A grand jury indicted the couple, Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez, on one rely every of involuntary manslaughter, San Bernardino County’s district lawyer, Jason Anderson, mentioned at a information convention on Tuesday. They additionally face three felony counts of recklessly inflicting a hearth with nice bodily damage, 4 felony counts of recklessly inflicting a hearth to inhabited constructions and 22 misdemeanor counts.

About half of wildfires in the Western United States are prompted by individuals — from downed energy strains, discarded cigarettes, untended campfires — whereas the opposite half are began by lightning.

“Obviously, he wouldn’t have been out there if this hadn’t started in the first place,” Mr. Anderson mentioned of Charles Morton, 39, the firefighter who was killed. “He’s fighting a fire that was started because of a smoke bomb. That’s the only reason he’s there.”

Both Mr. and Ms. Jimenez, who held the gender reveal, pleaded not responsible and had been launched with out having to submit bail. Lawyers representing them couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

Mr. Anderson mentioned that in the event that they had been convicted, they might face a number of years in jail.

Mr. Morton started working on the San Bernardino National Forest in 2007, based on a assertion from the U.S. Forest Service, and was survived by his spouse, daughter, mother and father and two brothers. Vicki Christiansen, the company’s chief, known as Mr. Morton “a well-respected firefighter and leader who was always there for his squad and his crew at the toughest times.”