Steven Craig Shiflet, the Mesa resident who admitted to starting the near-18,000-acre Sunflower Fire in the Tonto National Forest last year with an "incendiary shotgun shell," was sentenced Monday to probation.
Shiflet fired the shell during a bachelor party in the desert near Sycamore Creek on May 12, and the fire wasn't contained until July 5.
-Steven Craig Shiflet Started Sunflower Fire in Arizona by Firing "Incendiary Shotgun Shell" During Bachelor Party in Desert
After investigators tracked down the group Shiflet was with, Shiflet admitted to starting the fire.
According to a federal complaint, Shiflet said it probably was a "flame throwing" shotgun round that started the fire.
Probably due to what the label on the shotgun shells said, investigators believed him.
"Shoots 100 feet of fire, setting everything in its path ablaze," the package said. "Warning: Extreme FIRE HAZARD."
Here's an example of similar, if not the same, shotgun shells in use:
These can be bought on the Internet for $19.99 plus shipping, although we'll note that the same website also sells "confetti rounds," which may have been a better choice for Shiflet, in retrospect.
Shiflet, in addition to the two years of probation, also has to do community service, and pay a couple thousand bucks in fines.
Ray Stern contributed to this post.