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Gold Rush star Tony Beets fined $31,000 over ‘Viking baptism’ fire stunt

Tony Beets setting fire to a pond on Gold Rush, and an inset of his face
Tony Beets in front of his dredge during the stunt and, inset, on Gold Rush

Gold Rush star Tony Beets has been fined $31,000 for allowing employees to set a pond alight with gasoline — in a stunt which appeared on the show.

The 57-year-old miner and his company, Tamarack Inc., were hit with the penalty by a judge at the Yukon territorial court.

The prosecuting attorneys reportedly wanted Beets to cough up more, with territorial government lawyer Megan Seiling said to have requested that he be fined in the “$50,000 range”.

The stunt saw Beets standing in front of a dredge pond at his mining operation on the Indian River near Dawson City, Yukon, after allowing employees to pour gas into it and set it alight.

As flames raged behind him, he was filmed saying: “I told you guys, ‘come hell or high water’, didn’t I? How do you like that?”

The scene featured on the Discovery show back in February 2015 after Beets pulled the stunt in October 2014.

According to the Yukon News, the court had to decide whether Beets and his company were responsible after the fuel was poured into the dredge pond by his subcontractor, welder Mark Favron.

Beets and Tamarack Ink were both accused of depositing waste into the pond and failing to report a fuel spill.

According to the CBC in Canada, Yukon judge Peter Chisholm said in his ruling that “polluters in the territory must be aware they will be treated seriously by the courts”.

The case came about after mining enforcement officials received a registered complaint after the stunt took place.

Taking Beets to task, Judge Chisholm said Beets “was an active participant” and the footage revealed he had no remorse or intentions of preventing or mitigating the actions of the stunt.

Watch the clip below, via Yukon News.


Gold Rush returns to Discovery in a “live” event on October 13 at 8/7c. Then Season 8 starts with a two-hour premiere, beginning at 9/8c the same night. The three-hour event airs only on the Discovery Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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