Guy's Gender-Reveal Party Misfired Horribly

Arizona's Dennis Dickey must pay $220K for setting off huge wildfire
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2018 5:11 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2018 10:40 AM CDT
In this April 24, 2017 photo, the Sawmill Fire burns along the ridge line east of Arizona Highway 83 north of Sonoita, Ariz.   (Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
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(Newser) – An Arizona man just wanted to reveal to the world the gender of his wife's soon-to-be-born baby. Instead, he set off a 47,000-acre wildfire that cost $8 million, reports the Arizona Daily Star. As a result, Dennis Dickey is now on the hook for $220,000 in penalties. Last year, the off-duty Border Patrol agent shot a target filled with the explosive Tannerite and colored powder—blue for boy, pink for girl—on a dry and windy day in Green Valley, Ariz. The ensuing blast started a brush fire that quickly spiraled out of control into what became known as the Sawmill Fire, according to a release from the US Attorney's Office in Arizona. It took about 800 firefighters close to a week to finally control it.

"I feel absolutely horrible about it," the 37-year-old Dickey said in court last week. "It was probably one of the worst days of my life." Because it was an accident, Dickey wasn't charged with arson, and he is expected to keep his Border Control job. Luckily, the fire caused no injuries. Dickey had to immediately dip into his retirement fund to hand over $100,000, and he will make monthly payments of $500 for 20 years, reports the Sahuarita Sun. Dickey also will make a public-service announcement, presumably to warn other excited dads-to-be to skip the Tannerite. And, no, the coverage doesn't mention whether the Dickeys were having a boy or a girl. (This gender-reveal party didn't end so well, either.)

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