Gender Reveal Goes Wrong When Explosives Cause Arizona Forest Fire

The fire burned for almost two weeks. Credit US Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service released video this week of the cause of 2017's Sawmill Fire - a wildfire that scorched more than 19,000 hectares (190 square km) east of Tucson, Arizona.

Dickey, 37, admitted starting the fire with an explosive target he set off to show party guests the gender of the baby his wife was expecting.

On Tuesday, US authorities revealed footage showing how a fire that ravaged 45,000 acres of land began during a gender reveal party. In the end, more than 100 people had to evacuate their homes, and the cost the fire and its damage came out to $8.2 million.

Mr Dickey reported the fire and pleaded guilty to starting it, and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to pay $US8 million in restitution.

The video, obtained by the Arizona Daily Star from the U.S. Forest Service through the Freedom of Information Act, is below.

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"It was a complete accident", Dickey told a judge on Friday.

Dickey said he tried to put the fire out before reporting it.

The Justice Department said that Dickey had placed a highly explosive substance known as Tannerite inside the display and then shot it with a rifle. He added: "I feel absolutely terrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life".

An exploding target to reveal a baby's gender is rare. Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel said she wasn't sure on Tuesday whether that's now in the works.

As part of his plea agreement Dickey will make a public service announcement with the Forest Service about the cause of the wildfire.

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