EL JEBEL - Felony arrest warrants have been issued for two people accused of sparking the Lake Christine Fire that destroyed three homes and burned more than 5,000 acres near the town of El Jebel.
Allison Marcus and Richard Miller were shooting tracer rounds at the Lake Christine shooting range on July 3, according to the arrest affidavit from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
At the time, Stage 2 fire restrictions were in place. Those restrictions include "no explosive targets and burning rounds", according to the affidavit.
The Lake Christine Fire burned more than 5,000 acres and destroyed 3 homes, a barn and an outbuilding. The estimated value of the destroyed homes is $2.6 million.
A deputy with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office contacted the pair near the range just before 6 p.m. on July 3 after responding to the area about the fire. According to the report, Marcus said she caused it and was sorry.
The deputy asked Miller if he was shooting incendiary rounds or tracers and Miller initially stated "no." He later said, "If he could be honest he was shooting tracer rounds," according to the arrest report.
Tracer rounds are bullets or projectiles that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in the base. They burn bright which makes them visible to the naked eye during daylight and very bright during nighttime firing.
They burn between 527 and 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the affidavit.
Miller was also asked if he was shooting at exploding targets such as Tannertite or paper. Miller said he was shooting at paper, the report said.
The deputy told Miller there was a Stage 2 fire ban and he acknowledged he knew there was a ban but said he didn't see the signs about it, the affidavit said. He later admitted to the deputy he had seen lighted signs on the roadway but said they only mentioned that fires and fireworks were prohibited.
Both Miller and Marcus faces charges of fourth-degree arson ( a Class 4 felony) and firing woods or prairie ( a Class 6 felony). Both are due in court on August 17.