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A Firefighter Is Killed In California Wildfire Sparked By Gender Reveal Party

A firefighter was killed Thursday in California's El Dorado Fire, according to officials at the San Bernardino National Forest.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time," forest officials said in a statement. The cause is under investigation, and the name of the firefighter is being withheld until the notification of next of kin.

Dozens of wildfires are burning in the West Coast, ravaging homes and burning more than 3 million acres in Oregon, California and Washington state alone.

The El Dorado Fire was caused by a smoke-generating device used during a gender reveal party two weeks ago, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. An expectant couple in Yucaipa set off fireworks to reveal the sex of their child, a popular — but dangerous — trend for expectant parents.

The fire is now 66% contained, but it has scorched more than 21,ooo acres in the Yucaipa area, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.

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Marisa Peñaloza is a senior producer on NPR's National Desk. Peñaloza's productions are among the signature pieces heard on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as weekend shows. Her work has covered a wide array of topics — from breaking news to feature stories, as well as investigative reports.