Border patrol agent's gender reveal party ignited a 47,000-acre wildfire

An off-duty border patrol agent wanted an explosive gender reveal party for his family and friends, but he e...

Posted: Oct 2, 2018 9:39 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2018 9:39 AM

An off-duty border patrol agent wanted an explosive gender reveal party for his family and friends, but he ended up igniting a wildfire that spread to Coronado National Forest in Arizona.

Dennis Dickey, 37, of Tucson, Arizona, has to pay more than $8 million in restitution, starting with a $100,000 initial payment and monthly payments thereafter, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Accidents, disasters and safety

Border control

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Fires

Guilty pleas

International relations

International relations and national security

Law and legal system

National security

Natural disasters

Territorial and national borders

Wildfires

Dickey pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor violation of US Forest Service regulations for igniting the Sawmill Fire, the statement said. He agreed to a sentence of five years of probation and will make a public service announcement with the Forest Service about the cause of the blaze.

His gender reveal party was on April 23, 2017, according to CNN affiliate KGUN-TV. Expectant parents throw such parties to tell family and friends the gender of their baby. In this case, Dickey's plan was to shoot a rifle at a target containing Tannerite, a highly explosive substance that would have exploded to reveal either blue powder for a boy or pink powder for a girl.

Dickey shot the target, causing it to explode and start a fire that spread and resulted in what was known as the Sawmill Fire, the Department of Justice said.

The Sawmill Fire burned nearly 47,000 acres owned by the state of Arizona and various federal agencies. The Coronado National Forest is federal land operated by the US Forest Service.

Firefighters from at least 20 agencies fought the fire for about a week, the affiliate reported.

Dickey immediately reported the fire and admitted to starting it, the Department of Justice said.

CNN has reached out to Dickey's attorney, but has not heard back. Dickey has not revealed the gender of his baby, KGUN reported.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19366

Reported Deaths: 328
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah449793
Washington284923
Marion269268
Umatilla206024
Clackamas142136
Malheur67610
Deschutes5408
Lane5233
Lincoln3959
Jackson3941
Union3882
Yamhill38611
Jefferson3113
Morrow3051
Polk29612
Linn25410
Klamath1961
Wasco1703
Hood River1690
Benton1576
Douglas1341
Josephine1071
Coos850
Clatsop820
Columbia790
Crook431
Baker330
Lake320
Tillamook300
Wallowa191
Sherman150
Curry140
Harney80
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Corvallis
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Roseburg
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 65°
North Bend
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events