Off-duty Border Patrol agent Dennis Dickey apparently had several misses before his high-powered rifle blasted an explosive target, accidentally setting off a 47,000-acre wildfire last year.
Three times, shots blew past the target — set up in dry grassland in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson — before a fourth shot hit it, a newly released extended video segment shows.
The target was set to give off blue smoke to show that the baby Dickey and his wife were expecting was a boy, at what’s known as a gender reveal party.
Before the visible shots appeared on the video, seven other shots were heard in the background, out of sight of the video camera.
Wind is clearly heard as well; at the time, winds were gusting up to 40 mph and the National Weather Service had issued a fire watch, authorities said.
The Star obtained the five-minute video Friday from the U.S. Forest Service through the federal Freedom of Information Act.
On Nov. 26, the Star obtained from the Forest Service and posted online a 49-second video of the April 23, 2017, incident, showing the target being hit, the blue smoke and the wildfire beginning.
The resulting Sawmill Fire lasted more than a week and cost firefighters $8.2 million to extinguish.
Dickey, who immediately reported the wildfire to authorities, pleaded guilty Sept. 27 in federal court to a misdemeanor charge of causing a fire without a permit.
He was held responsible for $8.2 million in restitution, but under his plea deal he agreed to pay $100,000 when he was sentenced Oct. 9 and another $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years.
Dickey was also sentenced to five years’ probation.
He shot a target that contained tannerite, an explosive substance designed to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm.
Tannerite is a legal compound that has been linked to wildfires in several other Western states.