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Gender reveal sparked 10-acre brush fire in FL, officials say

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    BREVARD COUNTY, FL (WESH) — Brevard County is under a burn ban and Brevard County Fire Rescue Chief Mark Schollmeyer says people need to follow the rules, especially during this coronavirus pandemic.

They have already seen an increase in fires, like a 10-acre fire that happened Saturday in the Grant-Valkaria region.

“We were informed that it was caused by a gender reveal using Tannerite and a weapon,” Schollmeyer said. “Something as seemingly innocent as a gender reveal, can turn into a large-scale disaster where homes are threatened,” he added.

Schollmeyer said incidents like that can strain their resources.

“Especially during all these potential COVID responses and medical responses it can quickly overwhelm resources and by that I mean, it will leave no resources to respond to those medical calls when needed,” Schollmeyer said.

What steps can you take?

“We want to prevent those wildfires started carelessly by let’s say fireworks, camp fires open trash and burning, bonfires, those kind of incidents can escalate rapidly. The outdoor equipment utilizing internal combustion engines like ATV’s, lawnmowers and the like, make sure they have a spark arrestor on them,” Schollmeyer said.

The Brevard County burn ban, which prohibits open burning, comes with an up to $500 fine and/or jail time if violated.

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