The gender reveal party which sparked a wildfire in Arizona has been dubbed “peak straight white nonsense” in a wave of online ridicule after authorities released a video of the explosion.
Hundreds of people had to evacuate their homes during the week-long 47,000-acre ‘Sawmill Fire’ caused by border patrol agent Dennis Dickey, which required around 800 firefighters and $8.2 million to extinguish it in April 2017.
The US Forest Service released video of the gender reveal incident on Tuesday (November 27) following a Freedom of Information Act request by news outlet KVOA.
Watch Dennis Dickey’s gender reveal start a wildfire:
It shows Dickey shooting a target decorated with the words “boy” and “girl” and containing a legal explosive substance called tannerite, as the Arizona Daily Star reported.
“Start packing up,” the person filming the video can be heard shouting as fire quickly spreads over the dry patch of grass.
Dennis Dickey’s gender reveal sparks widespread mockery
Disbelieving Twitter users have reacted to Dickey’s actions by making fun of him—and straight people in general—for taking the already-mocked practice of gender reveal parties to explosive new heights.
“Straight people are a hazard to society”
One person wrote: “Honestly, a border control agent shooting target for a gender reveal for a male baby and starting a wildfire is peak straight white nonsense.”
Another user simply stated: “Straight people are a hazard to society,” which was a common sentiment, with other commenters writing tweets like: “Straight people, smh” and “straight people are wack.”
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The phrase “ughhhh straight people” was popular, as was the declaration that when people are thinking about what straight culture is, they should look to Dickey’s wildfire.
“Straight culture is throwing a gender reveal party that sparks a 47k acre wildfire and causing 8 million in damages,” one such tweet read, while another user asked: “Are straight cis people okay?”
One tweeter made the point that anti-gay figures often say queer people are too explicit with their sexualities despite this being much more true about heterosexual folks.
“Straight people out here having gender reveal parties that cause massive wildfires, and some of them still want to be like ‘wHy Do GaY pEoPlE hAvE tO rUb ThEiR sExUaLiTy In OuR fAcEs?!'” wrote the insightful commenter.
Another humorous observation was made by a user who wrote: “The weird thing is, straight people get one free gender reveal related 47,000 hectare wildfire, so this must’ve been his second one.”
The heavy price of Dennis Dickey’s gender reveal
Dickey was sentenced to five years probation after pleading guilty in federal court in September to a misdemeanour charge of causing a fire without a permit.
He has also agreed to a plea deal which states that he will pay $100,000 immediately and another $120,000 in monthly instalments of $500 over two decades, according to local news reports.
When pleading guilty to causing the blaze on state land at the foot of the Santa Rita Mountains, the 37-year-old border patrol agent told Judge Leslie A. Bowman that the fire—which blew blue smoke, indicating a boy—was “a complete accident.
“I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life,” Dickey said.