The two people charged with starting the Lake Christine Fire pleaded not guilty during a court appearance. Investigators said the fire that started July 3, 2018 was ignited by tracer rounds used at a shooting range by Allison Marcus, 22, and Richard Miller, 23. Shortly after the fire ignited Marcus and Miller were cooperative and talked with law enforcement officials.
The fire burned 12,588 acres and three homes near Basalt and El Jebel 15 air miles southeast of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
The date of the trials for the suspects is uncertain, but they could be scheduled for May or June.
Tracer rounds are incendiary ammunition. They have a substance that burns when fired, making the trajectory of the bullet visible during daylight, but especially noticeable at night. Tracer ammunition is banned in many areas, including the area where the Lake Christine Fire started.
Miller and Marcus have been charged with fourth-degree arson.
After having received some monsoonal moisture, Western Colorado apparently is drying a bit, and has quite a few active fires.
Below is information provided by the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center July 31, 2018. Some of the larger ones that are active are listed below, north to south.
Cabin Lake: 350 acres, 103 personnel. White River N.F. ICT3 (Thompson) 16 miles SE of Meeker, CO. Fuel model 4 and 10. Extreme fire behavior with crowning, wind-driven runs and spotting. Residential structures and powerlines threatened. Road, trail and area closures in effect.
Red Canyon: 1,500 acres; 136 personnel. White River BLM. ICT4 (Jacob) 45 miles SW of Meeker, CO. Fuel model 5 and 2. Moderate fire behavior with running, uphill runs and spotting. Residential structures, oil and gas infrastructure and FAA Tower threatened. SWA IMT (Andrews) transition of command anticipated 2400 7/30.
Cache Creek: 325 acres; 50 personnel. White River N.F. ICT3 (Spetter/Ottoson(T)) 8 miles SW of Rifle, CO. Fuel model 10. Moderate fire behavior with single tree torching, group torching and long-range spotting. Oil and gas infrastructure, watershed and private timber interests threatened. RMA IMT2 (Esperance) in-brief 2000 7/30.
Lake Christine: has been burning since July 3, 2018. 12,588 acres, 313 personnel. Eagle County. RMA IMT2 (Greer). One mile NW of Basalt, CO. Fuel model 8 and 2. Minimal fire behavior with smoldering and creeping. Threat to residential structures, private inholdings and high voltage transmission lines, communications infrastructure, water supply infrastructure, commercial airline corridor. Road, area and trail closures in effect. Transfer of command to local IMT3 (Anderson) planned for 7/31. Expected containment 8/2.
Buttermilk: 671 acres, (no more information)
Plateau: 1,200 acres, 87 personnel. San Juan N.F. ICT3 (Seekins/Stark (T)). 13 miles N of Dolores, CO. Fuel model 10 and 2. Moderate fire behavior with short range spotting, isolated torching, group torching and wind driven runs. Road and area closures in effect.