The US Forest Service released video footage this week in which a gender-reveal gag is shown to be the cause for the Sawmill Fire that resulted in $8.2 million worth of damage for the state of Arizona in 2017.
The 49-second video, which was released following a Freedom of Information Act request by the Arizona Daily Star, shows a shooter targeting a box adorned with labels that read "Boy" and "Girl" in a field of dry grass. Just as a colorful blast of blue explodes into the air, the field below is enveloped in flames.
A figure in the video, who is blocked out, is later seen running into the field as another person off-camera yells out, "Start packing up."
The fire began on state land in the Santa Rita Mountain range on April 23, 2017, and the culprit behind the explosion was identified as Dennis Dickey, a US Border Patrol agent who was off-duty at the time of the incident, according to the Daily Star.
"Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated and admitted that he started the fire," Brent Robinson, a US Forest Service special agent, wrote in an affidavit filed September 20, 2017.
It was later discovered that the shooting target contained Tannerite, a legal brand of highly explosive substance that erupts when shot by a high-velocity bullet. According to NBC News, the Sawmill fire burned some 47,000 acres and required a total of 800 firefighters to contain it.
Speaking to US Magistrate Judge Leslie Bowman last September, Dickey told the official that the fire was a "complete accident."
"I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life," he added.
The border agent ultimately pleaded guilty to causing the fire and was sentenced by the courts to five years probation. He also agreed to pay $220,000 in restitution, according to the Daily Star.