Border Patrol agent admits starting a wildfire at gender-reveal party

Border Patrol agent admits starting a wildfire at gender-reveal party

A Border Patrol agent has pleaded guilty to starting a massive wildfire in Arizona on the day of his wife's gender reveal party.

The Sawmill Fire was started when Dickey reportedly shot his rifle at a target filled with colored powder, which was meant to announce the gender of his baby, blue for a boy and pink for a girl. As a result, Dennis Dickey is now on the hook for $220,000 in penalties. Dennis Dickey, the off-duty agent, had planned to reveal the sex of his child by using a balloon filled with an explosive chemical to reveal the sex of his unborn baby a year ago but instead, he ended up starting a fire that took more than a week to put out.

The fast-moving "Sawmill Fire" was ignited near Green Valley in April 2017 when Dickey shot a rifle at explosive powder inside a target.

According to authorities, the off-duty Border Patrol officer immediately reported the fire to law enforcement and cooperated with them.

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Despite Dickey calling the fire "a complete accident", he has been charged with a misdemeanor for starting a fire without a permit, along with agreeing to pay $8,188,069 worth of restitution starting with an initial payment of $100,000. "It was probably one of the worst days of my life".

Ordering Dickey to pay $8.2 million to cover the cost of the fire would have been "like getting blood from a stone" because he could never come up with that much money, Chapman said. It took about 800 firefighters close to a week to finally control it.

Unusually high winds of around 40 miles per hour and lower than average rainfall contributed to the fire's growth, which took about a week to contain, The Washington Post reported.

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