Officials Release Video from Gender Reveal Party That Ignited a 47,000-Acre Wildfire

GREEN VALLEY, Az. — Oh boy. A video released by the US Forest Service shows the moment when a gender reveal party in Arizona went horribly wrong, sparking a wildfire that burned nearly 47,000 acres and caused more than $8 million in damage.

Shot on April 23, 2017, the clip shows a makeshift target with the words “Boy” and “Girl” written on it, placed in the middle of the desert near Green Valley, Arizona, south of Tucson.

Seconds later we hear a gunshot, and the target explodes, revealing a blue cloud and immediately igniting the surrounding brush. Someone shouts, “Start packing up!”

The flames spread to the nearby Coronado National Forest, where they became the Sawmill Fire and burned 46,991 acres owned by the state of Arizona, federal agencies and private landowners. Firefighters from at least 20 agencies fought the fire for about a week, according to CNN affiliate KGUN-TV.

The man who shot the target, off-duty US Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey, pleaded guilty in September of this year to a misdemeanor violation of US Forest Service regulations and was sentenced to five years’ probation. He also was ordered to pay $8,188,069 in restitution, starting with an initial payment of $100,000 and monthly payments thereafter.

The expectant dad, 37, had packed the target with a highly explosive substance called Tannerite and shot it with a high-powered rifle, according to the US Attorney’s Office. The target was supposed to burst pink or blue to reveal to attendees whether Dickey and his wife were expecting a boy or a girl.

According to KGUN, Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated with the investigation and admitted that he started the blaze. He also repeatedly told the judge that the fire was “a complete accident.”

CNN has reached out to Sean Chapman, Dickey’s attorney, but has not heard back.

As part of his plea agreement, Dickey will make a public service announcement with the Forest Service about the cause of the wildfire.

According to KGUN, the Dickeys haven’t said if the child was a boy or a girl. But the blue puffs as the target exploded might be a clue.


  • jimbrony

    Awfully presumptuous of the parents to assume that just because the (what is it the pro-choice crowd calls it? Oh yeah…) fetus has a twig and berries that it’s a boy. What if it identifies as a girl and it’s offended by all the blue and forced masculinity? Some people…

  • Bob Stevens

    Don’t they know that since 2016, gender reveal parties are a barbaric tradition because gender is a magical made up thing and the baby gets to decide.

    On the none insane leftist side of this, 8 mil in restitution for burned scrub desert seems abit much…

    • straubdavid9

      Have you ever been in the “scrub desert”? Rhetorical question – because if you have, you would know that it is actually teeming with wildlife ,,,,, from rabbits to tortoise ….. quail and owls etc etc that depend on the habitat and the food sources. No small matter to dismiss. To say this ecosystem is fragile doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. Just so you know.

    • straubdavid9

      Right after that you say “dude …. this is gonna be epic!” ….. followed by “oooooooooooooooh shiiiiiiiiiiiiit!”

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