This is probably one of the worst gender reveal party ever!
After Dennis Dickey, a United States Border Patrol agent from Arizona, fired at a target full of colorful powder, he had been hoping to learn the sex of his future child, his attorney said.
Instead, the goal erupted and ignited a fire that consumed more than 45,000 acres of land and resulted in greater than $8 million in compensation, the United States attorney’s office for Arizona explained.
On Friday, Mr. Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of United States Forest Service regulations for igniting what became known as the Sawmill Fire, which started on April 23, 2017, and had nearly 800 firefighters battling it for about a week.
The fire began while Mr. Dickey was off duty near Green Valley, Ariz., about 26 miles south of Tucson, to celebrate his wife’s pregnancy, his attorney, Sean Chapman, told The Arizona Daily Star. Mr. Dickey shot at a goal that contained Tannerite, an extremely volatile substance constructed for use by long tail shooters. The material, when put with colorful packs of powder and shot can fill the air with vibrant residue for gender-reveal parties: blue for boys or pink for girls.
Mr. Dickey fired a rifle at the goal, and the resulting explosion set off a fire that spread into the Coronado National Forest, the authorities said.
Mr. Dickey instantly reported the fire and admitted that he began it, according to the United States attorney’s office. In court on Friday, Mr. Dickey advised a United States magistrate judge that the flame was “a complete injury,” according to The Daily Star.
Mr. Dickey, who is a Border Patrol agent, and his lawyer could not be contacted for comment on Monday.
Tannerite is a volatile compound made up of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder. Videos posted online reveal people shooting boxes or containers which erupt into clouds of blue or pink dust. In another instance, a man was smacked in the face by a ball filled with blue powder.
People have also been critical of the trend for reaffirming sex stereotypes.
As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Dickey agreed to serve five decades of probation and produce a public service announcement with the Forest Service concerning the reason for the Sawmill Fire. He has also agreed to pay restitution, beginning with a $100,000 initial payment and monthly payments after that, officials said.