U.S. Border Patrol Agent Accused Of Starting Southern Arizona Fire

Published: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 9:12am

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was ordered to appear in federal court Friday to face a charge for starting a fire in Southern Arizona that cost millions of dollars to extinguish.

Agent Dennis Dickey admitted that in spring 2017, he started a fire that scorched 45,000 acres. Residents were evacuated from their homes as the fire roared into the flanks of Southern Arizona’s Santa Rita Mountains. 

Dickey is facing a federal charge for starting the fire without a permit. He told investigators that he was off duty when he’d packed an explosive intended to blow up when shot into a target and then erected the target on state land before shooting it with a rifle.

An investigator’s affidavit states a witness recorded the explosion. 

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