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In April 2017, a family started a massive wildfire in Arizona with a gender-reveal stunt. Now, video of the incident has finally been released.
Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey, his wife, and others had set out to Coronado National Forest, near Green Valley, for a good-old-fashioned, gun-themed gender-reveal party. They found an open field, where they set up a target with the words “boy” and “girl” written on it.
On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service released a video of the moment where it all went wrong, after the Arizona Daily Star filed a request for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act. The 49-second video shows the target in the clearing for just a few moments before a loud boom is heard. A blast of blue powder, as well as a blast of flames engulf the target in seconds. Why flames? Dickey didn’t just put colored powder in the target, he also filled it with Tannerite. While the substance is legal, it is also highly explosive.
“Start packing up,” a man yells in the video as the fire grows. The flames started by Dickey’s gender-reveal quickly spread in the dry brush and was fanned by the 40 mile-per-hour winds. The fire eventually spread over 47,000 acres of grasslands, and while no one was injured, the fire also caused over $8 million in damages.
Dickey pled guilty to accidentally starting the fire in September. In the plea agreement, Dickey agreed to pay $220,000 in restitution, starting with $100,000 at his sentencing in October, and an additional $500 a month for the next 20 years. He also will be on probation for the next five years and will participate in a public service announcement for the Forest Service. At least now we all know his baby was a boy.
H/T BuzzFeed News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree