An inferno that destroyed nearly 50,000 acres of wildlife wasn’t just caused by people, it was caused by one man with a gun trying to celebrate the forthcoming birth of his child.
That’s right -- the recent Arizona wildfire that has caused more than $8 million in damages all started after a gender reveal party went horribly wrong.
And now the U.S. Forest Service has released footage of the incident in an effort to remind people that even highly trained individuals need to be extremely careful, and a lot more thoughtful, when interacting with high-risk environments.
In the footage, US Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey shoots a box to trigger a gender reveal explosion. Unfortunately, the explosion immediately sets fire to the field surrounding the box.
“I feel absolutely horrible about it,” Dickey said in an interview. “It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”
Dickey reported the incident, cooperated with authorities and has began to pay back his financial restitution for causing the horrific blaze but he’s technically only being penalized with a misdemeanor charge for the incident.
The Forest Service announced that Dickey will also take part in a public service announcement warning people about the risks of firearms, explosives and wildfires.
More broadly, the incident draws even more negative attention to gender reveal parties, which have become an international trend in recent years. Celebrities, wealthy couples and seemingly everyone in between has jumped on the bandwagon, adding a level of immature indulgence to an event that probably already gets all the attention it deserves.