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Newly released video shows the moment an off duty border agent in Arizona started a huge wildfire as part of a gender reveal celebration for his unborn baby.

The April 2017 Sawmill blaze destroyed 47,000 acres and took 800 firefighters to put out, at a cost of $8.2m.

Dennis Dickey, 37, and his wife Rita, planned to reveal the sex of their baby to friends and relatives by setting off an explosive device filled with coloured powder – blue to indicate a boy.

Dickey shot a target containing Tannerite, a legal, but very powerful explosive. The video shows the blast and the surrounding grass immediately catching fire, the ferocity of the blaze exacerbated by months of dry weather.

It quickly spread to the Coronado National Forest.

Image: Months of dry weather had left the grass tinder dry Pic: US Forest Service

Dickey immediately reported the fire and is said to have admitted starting it, saying it had been a "complete accident".

Last month he pleaded guilty to starting a fire without a permit and was sentenced to five years probation, a $100,000 fine and $500 a month restitution for the next 20 years.

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Tiffany Davila, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, said: "We pass that message on all the time — one spark is all it takes, one spark is all it takes.

"It's true. When you see that video, you see how quickly the grasses catch on fire and how quickly it moves."

Original Article

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Sky News

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