Gender reveal video causes $11m worth of damage

Vids 30/11/2018

Video has emerged showing how a baby gender reveal party sparked a devastating wildfire in Arizona that caused millions of dollars of damage.

On April 23, 2017, Tucson border patrol agent Dennis Dickey and his pregnant wife threw a party in Green Valley with the intention of revealing whether their child would be a boy or a girl.

Mr Dickey, 37, filled a target with a highly explosive but legal substance, as well as packets of colourful powder.

As guests watched, he fired a rifle at the target - which read 'BOY OR GIRL' - which then exploded with a huge cloud of blue powder, meaning the baby was a boy.

Unfortunately, due to the strong winds, the surrounding long grass also caught fire, with huge flames spreading rapidly within seconds.

The fire would go on to burn through more than 40,000 acres, forcing more than 100 Arizona residents to flee their homes.  It took 600 firefighters several days to contain the blaze, which ended up costing more than US$8 million (NZ$11.8 million).

Footage of the explosion filmed by one of the guests was handed over to the US Forestry Service, and has only just become publicly available.

Mr Dickey immediately reported the fire to officials and admitted to being at fault.

In September 2018, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of US Forest Service regulations, and received five years' probation. He must also pay damages of more than US$8.1 million (NZ$12 million).