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The Ice Road Truckers Star Sentenced To House Arrest For 'Cannabis-Related Explosion'

"Ice Road Truckers" is a show that ran for 10 years, from 2007 to 2017, about people who make a living by traversing across difficult and unpredictable terrains, putting their lives on the line on a daily basis. It is a profession that attracts hardened, yet quirky individuals who scoff at the dangers they face every day on the road. Such an explosive mix is bound to lure in some bad apples who have a disdain not only for life-threatening conditions on icy roads but also for the law. 

The long-running documentary series was no stranger to controversy. The drivers who were featured on the History Channel show frequently pop up in the news for reasons unrelated to their trucking endeavors. One of the truckers, Tim Zickuhr, who appeared on the show in 2011, was arrested in Las Vegas in 2013 on "kidnapping, extortion, and coercion charges," according to CNN. Is it the newfound fame that pushes these truckers to engage in reckless behavior? Hugh Rowland seems to think so, as he famously had to fire everybody on his crew after the first few seasons because once after getting filmed for the show, "they thought they were Hollywood superstars." It wasn't just the early cast who got up to trouble though, as later-season mainstay Art Burke had a major run-in with the law.

Art Burke had an explosive accident

Arthur "Art" Burke was on "Ice Road Truckers" for the final five seasons of the series. Throughout that time, he managed to develop a reputation of a coarse, yet likable character with a thirst for adventure. During his time on "IRT", he never failed to make audiences laugh with his frequent use of foul language and a carefree, humorous demeanor. Just one year after the show has run its course, Burke returned to the spotlight, albeit not in a way he would have wanted. 

In November 2018, Burke caused a massive explosion in his Prince Edward Island home, according to CBC News. He was trying to make a specific form of cannabis concentrate, known as shatter. A large amount of butane, a highly flammable liquid, was required for the process. Art's poor handling of this substance ended up in the trucker accidentally igniting the butane, prompting the massive explosion. As a result, 40 percent of his body got covered in burns. The damage he caused to the building he lived in amounted to $60,000, which led Burke himself to say, "In one heartbeat everything I worked for vanished...I am going to lose all my savings for retirement."

In 2020, the History Channel star pleaded guilty to the charges of "causing arson by negligence," per CBC News, and was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest. Reportedly, Burke's attorney managed to get the judge to allow his client to serve out some of his sentence in his truck, thus allowing him to continue working. Perhaps Burke could get another shot at success if the rumored "Ice Road Truckers" return ever actually happens — and he's allowed to participate.