November 27, 2018 12:47 pm
Updated: November 29, 2018 1:18 am

It’s a wildfire: Video shows moment when gender-reveal bomb sparked $8M Sawmill Fire

WATCH ABOVE: Newly released video shows gender reveal stunt gone wrong that started a massive $8M fire in Arizona


The U.S. Forest Service has released video showing a border patrol agent’s gender-reveal stunt that triggered a devastating wildfire in Arizona last year.

The video shows an explosive-laden package standing in a dry, grassy field, with the words “boy” and “girl” painted on it. A gunshot is heard a few seconds into the video, triggering the explosive. The package erupts in a ball of fire and a brief cloud of blue powder, indicating that the child will be a boy. The grass around the explosive package can be seen burning at the end of the video.

An explosive package filled with coloured powder detonates in this still image captured from video in April 2017, near Tucson, Arizona.

US Forest Service

The flames turned into what became known as the Sawmill Fire, a blaze that torched approximately 182 square kilometres of land and caused an estimated US$8 million in damage near Green Valley, Arizona, in April 2017.

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Dennis Dickey, 37, of Tucson, pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanour charge in connection with the fire. The off-duty border patrol agent said he was trying to surprise his family with the gender of his wife’s unborn child.

“Dickey had placed Tannerite, a highly explosive substance, inside the target, intending for it to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm bullet,” the Department of Justice said in a statement in September. “Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, co-operated, and admitted that he started the fire.”

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Dickey must serve five years’ probation and make a public announcement about the cause of the fire, under the conditions of his plea agreement. He was also ordered to pay $8,188,069 as restitution for the damage he caused to state and federal lands.

He agreed to pay $100,000 immediately and will make monthly payments going forward.

With files from the Associated Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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