It turns out that an Arizona fire that caused millions of dollars in damage began when a gender reveal celebration went awry.
When off-duty Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey used a high-velocity firearm in April 2017 to shoot a target filled with either blue or pink powder, he caused an explosion that set the Coronado National Forest ablaze and ultimately damaged more than 45,000 acres of land. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona said in a news release that Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement.
The 37-year-old pleaded guilty Friday to starting a fire without a permit. Dickey’s plea agreement stipulates that he’ll pay over $8 million in restitution, receive a sentence of five years’ probation, and make a public service announcement with the U.S. Forest Service, according to a news release.
Gender reveal parties, which seem to get more extravagant every year, sometimes go wrong in minor ways, such as when someone accidentally pops a balloon containing either pink or blue confetti before the couple is ready for the reveal. This may be the first reveal to cost $8 million — and, naturally, people on Twitter were quick to make fun of the disastrous attempt.
The irony is that reports of the fire don’t mention whether the fire-starting powder was pink or blue, negating the entire point of the gender reveal.
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