A Gender Reveal Party Went Horribly Wrong, And Ignited A Massive Wildfire
We’ve talked a bit before about gender reveal parties. Honestly, they’ve sort of jumped the shark, and it just seems to be a way for people to one up each other at this point. Some of them are really cool, like the Stranger Things themed party. Or what about the one a woman had for her rescue chicken?! Those are the kinds of parties I can get behind. But then we have the ones with popping stuff and shooting stuff, and ugh. It’s out on control. But, I think we have a clear winner for gender reveal party gone horribly wrong. As annoying as some of those other parties are, at least they didn’t ignite a huge wildfire and cause millions upon millions of dollars in damages, right?
A gender reveal party held in Arizona in 2017 went about as wrong as it could possibly go. Seriously, this is terrible.
In April 2017 Dennis Dickey, a 37-year-old Border Patrol agent, threw a gender reveal party. They decided to shoot targets filled with colored powder in order to reveal the gender of their unborn baby. The idea is, you shoot the target, it explodes in pink or blue, people cheer and the party moves on. But things didn’t go quite as planned for the Dickeys. Bad decisions were made from the start, like setting the targets up in a grassy area in front of the Colorado National Forest. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Arizona, but it’s dry and hot as fuck, like, all the time.
Then, to add fuel to the fire (sorry), Dickey filled the targets with an incredibly flammable explosive called Tannerite. According to The Daily Beast, Tannirite is designed to literally explode when shot by a high-velocity gun. So many poor choices.
Welp, as should have been expected, the stupid target exploded when Dickey shot it. And it ignited a massive wildfire, the Sawmill Fire.
The fire burned through 47,000 in a week, and it took 800 firefighters to extinguish it. The state of Arizona estimates that the Sawmill Fire, or Gender Reveal Party Fire as it shall be known, caused over $8 million in damages. Dickey pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of causing a fire without a permit. He was also ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution on October 9, when he’s sentenced. He has 20 years to pay an additional $120,000, in monthly installments of $500. He’ll be on probation for five years.
Dickey has, at least, expressed remorse and regret over the gender reveal party disaster. He told U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie A. Bowman at a hearing, “I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”
So, the lesson here: don’t have a gender reveal party. But if you do, for the love of god, don’t shoot something near a goddamn national forest. Literally no one cares that much about what you’re having.