Published: Thu, October 04, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Arizona Gender Reveal Party Leads To Uncontrollable Wildfire

Arizona Gender Reveal Party Leads To Uncontrollable Wildfire

Instead, the target erupted and sparked a fire that consumed more than 45,000 acres of land and resulted in more than $8 million in damages, the US attorney's office for Arizona said.

Dickey will pay $100,000 when he is sentenced October 9 and another $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

Officials say the flames broke out when Dickey shot a target containing the explosive substance Tannerite, which has been linked to wildfires in other Western states.

Strong winds made it hard to contain the fire, and tall grass and brush fueled it.

Roads were closed and nearby residents evacuated from smokey homes as some 800 firefighters battled the blaze.

Dickey told a U.S. magistrate judge the fire had been "a complete accident".

"I feel absolutely disgusting about it", he said on Friday. "It was probably one of the worst days of my life", he said.

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He was not on duty as a Border Patrol agent at the time and is not expected to lose his job.

Tannerite is a name-brand explosive powder.

Retailers have even begun selling gender-reveal kits containing the compound along with two colours of power - usually blue to indicate the baby is a boy, and pink for a girl.

The trouble all started when Dickey and his wife made a decision to throw a gender reveal party. Prior mishaps include a California grandfather-to-be getting smacked in the face with a powder-filled baseball and ending up with blue hair, an expectant New Jersey father breaking his ankle while kicking a football that spewed out pink paint, and a Philadelphia-area couple accidentally shooting pink fireworks into a crowd and sending their family and friends screaming and running for cover. The trend has been criticized for reinforcing gendered stereotypes, and ignoring the fact that some children's gender identities don't match with their biological sex.

Dennis Dickey, 37, of Tucson, Arizona, has to pay more than $8 million in restitution, starting with a $100,000 initial payment and monthly payments thereafter, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

He is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing this month.

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