As reported by CNN today, the U.S. Forest Service released a video from April 2017, in which a gender party reveal activity in Arizona went terribly wrong, and sparked a 47,000 acre wildfire.The fire started when the party host shot a target that contained a highly explosive substance called Tannerite. When hit, the target was supposed to explode and release either a pink or blue substance, to reveal if the baby was a girl or boy. After the gunshot hit the target, the target exploded, and immediately ignited the surrounding brush. The fire lasted a week and caused $8 million worth of damage to the Coronado National Forest in 2017.
The activity had consequences. The party host, an off duty U.S. Border Patrol agent, pled guilty this September to a misdemeanor violation of U.S. Forest Service Regulations, and was sentenced to five years’ probation. He is ordered to pay back $8,188,069 in restitution, and is to participate in a public service announcement with the Forest Service about the cause of the wildfire.
Why is this relevant for today? In the wake of all of the wildfire news in California, this video serves as a reminder that recklessly using explosives can have disastrous consequences. The next time you have an outdoor event, leave out the explosives, and settle for an activity that is less spectacular. There are other, safer, ways to share your exciting news. Your guests and the environment will thank you.