Border Agent Who Started Wildfire During Gender Reveal Party Fined $220K
The blaze spread across 47,000 acres.
Image via Getty/Nicolò Campo
In what seems like a very bizarre way to celebrate the reveal of an unborn baby's gender, an Arizona border patrol agent accidently started a wildfire with a firearm and explosives. Arizona Daily Star reports that border patrol agent Dennis Dickey was off-duty at the time of the incident that resulted in a massive fire that quickly spread.
Dickey reportedly shot at the explosive Tannerite, with the color of the subsequent powder plume to reveal the expected sex of the baby. Blue symbolized boy and pink for girl. Things didn't go exactly as planned.
At the time the blaze began, the National Weather Service had issued a fire watch warning. When Dickey shot at the target, the colored explosion ignited. Dickey reported the fire at the time of the incident, which went down back in April of 2017 close to Madera Canyon, and admitted he was responsible for the blaze.
"It was a complete accident," Dickey said to the judge. "I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life." Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of causing a fire without a permit, and has been ordered to pay a cool $220,000 in restitution. He will also serve five years of probation.
According to the Department of Justice, the Sawmill Fire that he caused resulted in over $8 million in damages. It eventually spread across an astonishing 47,000 acres over a week and around 800 firefighters were called on to fight the blaze.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported as a result of the fire.