Air15 video showed the Sunflower Fire burning in the mountains south of Payson Tuesday.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
PHOENIX - A Mesa man accused of starting a nearly 18,000-acre wildfire in the Tonto National Forest is set for a change of plea hearing.
Steven Craig Shiflet was target shooting with a group of friends in May when he pointed a shotgun loaded with a flame-throwing shell at a soda box in a cleared area near Payson. Smoke soon appeared in the brush, and the group couldn't extinguish the blaze.
Shiflet is facing three charges. Each one carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and $5,000 upon conviction.
It's unclear what he'll plead to at Monday's hearing in Phoenix. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says she had no further information. A call to Shiflet's attorney's office wasn't immediately returned.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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