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