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5:30, 02 October 2018

Border Patrol Agent’s Gender-Reveal Party Sparked Arizona Fire, Lawyer Says


Border Patrol Agent’s Gender-Reveal Celebration Sparked Arizona Fire, Lawyer Says

Border Patrol Agent&rsquos Gender-Reveal Celebration Sparked Arizona Fire, Lawyer Says

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A U.S. Border Patrol agent lately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation for starting what is now identified as the Sawmill Fire, which practically 800 firefighters battled for about a week in April last year.Published OnCreditCreditImage by Ron Medvescek/Arizona Daily Star, via Linked Press

By Melissa Gomez

When Dennis Dickey, a United States Border Patrol agent from Arizona, fired at a target filled with colorful powder, he was expecting to discover the gender of his future youngster, his lawyer mentioned.

As an alternative, the target erupted and sparked a fire that consumed more than 45,000 acres of land and resulted in a lot more than $eight million in damages, the United States lawyer&rsquos office for Arizona said.

On Friday, Mr. Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of United States Forest Service regulations for igniting what became identified as the Sawmill Fire, which started on April 23, 2017, and had almost 800 firefighters battling it for about a week.

The fire began even though Mr. Dickey was off duty near Green Valley, Ariz., about 26 miles south of Tucson, to celebrate his wife&rsquos pregnancy, his lawyer, Sean Chapman, told The Arizona Day-to-day Star.

Mr. Dickey shot at a target that contained Tannerite, a highly explosive substance made for use by lengthy-distance shooters. The substance, when placed with colorful packets of powder and shot at, can fill the air with colorful residue for gender-reveal parties: blue for boys or pink for girls.

Mr. Dickey fired a rifle at the target, and the resulting explosion set off a fire that spread to the Coronado National Forest, the authorities said. Mr. Dickey instantly reported the fire and admitted that he started it, according to the United States attorney&rsquos office.

Sturdy winds produced it challenging to include the fire, and tall grass and brush fueled it. It took far more than a week for firefighters to completely extinguish it.

In court on Friday, Mr. Dickey told a United States magistrate judge that the fire had been &ldquoa total accident,&rdquo according to The Daily Star. &ldquoI really feel definitely horrible about it. It was possibly 1 of the worst days of my life,&rdquo he said.

Mr. Dickey, who is nonetheless a Border Patrol agent, and his lawyer could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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