Lost Arizona Hiker Owes $300K After Starting Fires to Signal for Help

A hiker who became lost in an Arizona wilderness without supplies and lit fires to signal for assistance has been ordered to pay over $300,000 in reparations.

Philip Powers, 37, told authorities that he believed he was “done” with his tragic hike in the Prescott and Coconino national forests in May 2018 after he lost his way. After losing track of his intended 18-mile path, Powers ran out of food, his phone died, and he resorted to drinking his own urine to conserve his meager water supply. After igniting three flames to signal for help, he was promptly rescued by the U.S. Forest Service; nevertheless, one of the fires escalated into a wildfire that, according to an affidavit, consumed 230 acres and cost the Forest Service over a week and $500,000 to suppress. On Friday, a judge ordered Philips to pay roughly $300,000 in monthly installments of $200 as restitution, indicating it might take 122 years to repay for his life-saving flames.