Congrats, it’s a crime against the environment!
Newly-released footage shows the first spark of what would become Arizona’s massively destructive Sawmill Fire: A gender reveal party.
We’ve known for a few months that the Sawmill Fire, which started in April 2017 outside Tuscon, Arizona, was started by a border patrol agent’s desire to blow something up and reveal the nature of his unborn child’s genitals. But thanks to a new video, obtained by the Arizona Daily Star through a Freedom of Information Act request, we can now see the moment it happened.
The explosive target is visible in a field of desert grasses and trees as Border Patrol Agent Dennis Dickey triggers the explosives and a cloud of blue smoke erupts. I’m assuming this means it’s a boy, as these folks don’t seem like the types to question gender stereotypes around color preferences. The explosives instantly ignite the grass around it.
That spark, set on April 23, 2017, started a fire that would spread across 47,000 acres of Arizona land, costing $8.2 million and the efforts of 800 firefighters to contain and extinguish it.
According to a U.S. attorney’s office news release, Dickey plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, and agreed to pay restitution totaling $8,188,069, with an initial payment of $100,000 and monthly payments after that.
Nothing says “a celebration of fragile unborn life and new levels of responsibility” like explosives and firearms, and Dickey and his newly-expanded family aren’t the first new parents to catastrophically fuck up a gender reveal with pyrotechnics. A Philadelphia couple burned a bunch of their party guests when fireworks went awry, and last year new Nebraska parents apparently didn’t realize that setting off explosives in the suburbs was extremely illegal, and stupid.
Then there was the gender reveal where a family put a melon in a gator’s mouth and waited for it to bite down and reveal the color inside. How they pulled that off without bloodshed is beyond me.
At this point, we’re all excused from ever going to another gender reveal party again. Dumb societal stereotypes about assigned birth genders aside, they’re just too dangerous for our—and the environment’s—health.