A video published by the US Forest Service shows how an event revealing gender equality led to an expensive forest fire in southern Arizona, which forced about 200 people to leave their homes.
The information from the video is not new, but it is the first public visual element showing how fast the tall, dry grass on a state estate near Green Valley is glowing after that an officer of the US Border Patrol, on leave, fired a rifle at a house. target built. The rectangular target with a checkered diamond pattern marked "boy" or "girl" explodes, sending a blue substance in the air.
A person whose identity was hidden in the 49-second video published by the Forest Service goes to the flames after a few seconds while the embers rise above the mesquite and acacia trees, then back, and Another unidentified person goes to the screen from right to left.
A panicked male voice shouts twice: "Start packing!
The Arizona Daily Star has for the first time released a report on the video obtained Monday following a public registration application, which was widely shared on social media. Associated Press received the Forest Service video on Tuesday.
Officer Dennis Dickey told the authorities that he had built the target with a substance known as tannerite that would explode when hit by a bullet fired by a high velocity firearm. , according to court documents. He immediately reported the fire to the security forces on April 23, 2017 and collaborated with the Forest Service investigation, authorities said.
The US Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that Dennis Dickey was still working in the Tucson area.
In less than two weeks, the fire burned approximately 190 square kilometers of land owned primarily by the states and the United States to the Forests, forcing evacuations and alerting others they may also need to leave their homes . Damage to federal, state and private lands and fire fighting costs reached $ 8 million.
Dickey pleaded guilty in September to a federal charge of an offense for unleashing a fire without a license. He was sentenced the following month to five years of probation. He was also ordered to make an initial payment of $ 100,000 in restitution and monthly payments of $ 500.
"It was a complete accident," Dickey told the Arizona Daily Star, quoted the day he pleaded guilty. "I feel absolutely horrible about it – it was probably one of the worst days of my life."
Explosive targets are banned in the Coronado National Forest and any type of recreational target shooting is prohibited on the state lands where the fire started, officials said.
Land management agencies have witnessed forest fires, abandoned campfires, chainsaws, a horse shoe cutting a rock, tow chains dragging along the road, cigarette butts and wind seals.
An explosive target to reveal the sex of a baby is rare. Fire officials said that gusty winds and rugged topography contributed to fire growth in southern Arizona.
"We are transmitting this message at all times: only one spark is enough, one speech is enough," said Tiffany Davila, spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. "That's right, when you see this video, you see how fast the herbs catch on fire and how fast they are moving."
As part of his sentence, Dickey also worked with the Forest Service to make a public service announcement about the cause of the forest fire. Coronado National Forest spokesman Heidi Schewel said she was not sure Tuesday whether this is currently planned.
The messages left to Dickey by his lawyer and the Border Patrol were not immediately returned.