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Reports: Off-duty border patrol agent admits to starting Sawmill Fire

Posted at 3:06 PM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 20:48:41-04

Reports obtained by KGUN9 have confirmed that Dennis Dickey admitted to starting the Sawmill Fire while target shooting. 

Border Patrol has confirmed that Dickey is an agent and was off-duty at the time the fire sparked. 

According to reports, Dickey admitted to a Pima County Sheriff's deputy that "he was one of the individuals who reported the fire and that he had been the one out target shooting which initially started the brush fire."

He told the deputy "he was target shooting Tannerite, which was an explosive powder easily purchased which could be detonated by a high velocity rifle round and was commonly used in target shooting."

At the end of April, border patrol confirmed that an agent was being investigated for starting the Sawmill Fire.

The Sawmill Fire started east of Green Valley and traveled east over the Santa Rita Mountains. The fire burned into Sonoita. 

Officials said the fire burned 46,991 acres