Dennis Dickey and his wife Rita inadvertently started a huge wildfire in Arizona in April 2017 after a baby reveal celebration went wrong
Cast your mind back and try to think of the worst thing that you did when you were a wee nipper. Ruined your mum’s birthday by having a tantrum over nothing? Pushed your little brother down the stairs resulting in a trip to A&E? Threw coke all over your aunt’s brand new white carpet (yeah, that was me)?
Well that’s nothing compared to the offspring of Arizona residents Dennis Dickey, 37, and his wife Rita, who managed to cause an $8.2m wildfire before he was even born.
The incident happened in April 2017, when Dickey, an off-duty border guard, and his wife decided to reveal the sex of their baby by setting off an explosive device filled with blue powder (for those not familiar with the appalling trend of gender reveals, it’s always either blue or pink, because boys and girls cannot like, or be identified with any colours other than those).
Dickey shot a target containing Tannerite - bad decision number one, since it is a highly powerful explosive. Bad decision number two was choosing an outdoor area which had suffered months of dry weather to do it in.
As the video above shows, the explosion immediately set the surrounding grass on fire, which quickly spread out of control. It duly spread to the Coronado National Forest, eventually destroying 47,000 acres and taking 800 firefighters to extinguish, at a total cost of $8.2m.
Dickey, to his credit, immediately reported the fire and admitted his guilt in causing it, saying that it had been a “complete accident”.
He pleaded guilty to starting a fire without a permit and was sentenced to five years probation and a $100,000 fine, which he will pay off at $500 a month for the next 20 years.
Two clear lessons here people: don’t start fires in forests, and don’t ever do gender reveals. Ever.