A video posted by the US Forest Service includes the moment when a gender reveal party went horribly awry, igniting a blaze that burned 47,000 acres and led to over $8 million in damage. The footage shows a target for the gender reveal sitting in the middle of the desert with the words “Boy” and “Girl” written on the surface.
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The incident took place on April 23, 2017, near Green Valley, Arizona, according to a report by Fox 2 Now. In the video, a target used during the gender reveal celebration, marked with the words “Boy” and “Girl,” is clearly visible.
Just moments into the clip, a gunshot rings out. When the target explodes, a blue dust cloud emerges, announcing that the baby is going to be a boy.
After the explosion, the brush near the target ignites. Someone can be heard shouting, “Start packing up!”
The flames grew, spreading to nearby Coronado National Forest, ultimately becoming the massive Sawmill Fire.
46,991 acres were burned in the fire, including land owned by private landowners, federal agencies, and the state of Arizona. Firefighters from around 20 agencies were dispatched to battle the blaze, remaining in the area for about a week.
The man who shot the target was previously identified as Dennis Dickey, an off-duty US Border Patrol agent. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor US Forest Service regulation violation in September, receiving a sentence of five years’ probation.
Additionally, Dickey was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $8,188,069, with an initial payment of $100,000 and monthly payments after that.
He is also expected to film a public service announcement regarding the wildfire.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, the father-to-be filled the target with Tannerite, a highly explosive material, and shot it with a high-powered rifle.
After the blaze began, Dickey reported it quickly to local authorities, and subsequently cooperated in the investigation, including admitting he started the fire.