Gender Reveal Party Ends In 47,000 Acre Wildfire
Dennis Dickey an off-dutyUnited States Border Patrol officer has been ordered to pay $220,000 for causing a 47,000-acre wildfire in southern Arizona.
The Sawmill Fire began when Dickey reportedly shot his rifle at a target filled with coloured powder, intended to announce the gender of his baby at a family gender reveal party.
Instead, the target erupted and sparked a fire that consumed thousands of acres of land spreading to the Coronado National Forest costing more than $8 million in damages.
It is believed the target was also filled with Tannerite, a highly explosive substance that is linked to starting numerous fires.
Officials confirmed strong winds made it extremely difficult to contain the fire.
It took almost 800 firefighters to battle the blaze which lasted for about a week in April last.
According to CBS, Dickey reported the fire to officials immediately and admitted to starting it.
Mr Dickey wasn't charged with arson because he didn’t start the fire deliberately.
He did, however, plead guilty to a misdemeanour violation of U.S. Forest Service regulations.
He will have to pay $100,000 towards his fines on October 9th when he is due to be sentenced.
He will then continue to make monthly payments of $500 for 20 years.
Taxpayers will now have to cover the rest of the $8.2 million it cost to put the fire out.
Scary Mommy quoted the new dad as saying: "It was a complete accident. I feel absolutely horrible about it."
"It was probably one of the worst days of my life."
Thankfully no injuries were reported from the fire.
Written by Kellie Kearney staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.mylittlebabog.com.