Gender Reveal Party Goes Wrong

Caitlyn Dickey

Everyone has heard of the crazy gender reveal parties that people throw. One family did not intend for this party to go too terribly crazy. On April 23, 2017, a soon to be family had a creative way to find out the gender of their baby. Dennis Dickey, an off-duty border patrol agent, fired a rifle at a homemade target placed in the middle of dry grassland near Green Valley, Arizona for his pregnant wife.

When he shot the target blue powder went everywhere but, that is not the only thing that happened at the same time. The dry grass caused a wildfire that burned through 47,000 acres and caused more than $8 million worth of damage. The fire also forced about 200 people from their homes.

Firefighters from at least 20 agencies fought the fire for a week to bring it under control. Dickey pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge of starting a fire without a permit. He was sentenced the following month to five years of probation. He also was ordered to make an initial payment of $100,000 and monthly payments of $500.  “I feel absolutely horrible about it,” Dickey commented, “It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”