Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lost hiker convicted of starting three forest fires in 2018

Coconino National Forest
The Sycamore Fire burned approximately 230 acres northwest of Sedona in 2018.

A Tempe man has been convicted of starting three separate forest fires in northern Arizona in 2018.

Phillip Powers started the fires when he got lost during an 18-mile hike in the Coconino and Prescott national forests.

He told officials he didn’t have enough water and started the fire to signal for help.

One of those fires turned into the Sycamore Fire, which burned approximately 230 acres and endangered a watershed near Flagstaff.

A federal judge said Monday that Powers was not prepared and was reckless by not bringing enough water, food or a GPS.

Powers was found guilty of seven misdemeanor counts. He faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison.