Dennis Dickey, an off-duty Border Patrol agent from Tucson, Arizona, has pleaded guilty to starting a massive wildfire last year that took almost 800 firefighters to put out. But he insists it wasn’t on purpose, since he started it accidentally during a gender-reveal party.
The story goes that he shot a target containing a legal but highly explosive substance called Tannerite as part of the celebration announcing the gender of his first child. The stunt was supposed to set off either blue or pink powder to announce a boy or a girl, but things took a bad turn when the shot started a massive 45,000-plus-acre blaze. “I feel absolutely horrible about it,” Dickey told the judge.
As part of his plea agreement, Dickey will serve five years of probation, pay $100,000 in restitution, as well as $500 monthly payments for the next 20 years. The baby’s gender still hasn’t been disclosed.