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2 Face Felony Arson Charges In Lake Christine Fire, Arrest Warrants Issued

By Matt Kroschel

BASALT, Colo. (CBS4)- The two people investigators say sparked the devastating Lake Christine Fire while shooting illegal tracer rounds in Eagle County now have warrants out for their arrest for felony charges, CBS4 learned Monday morning.

District Attorney Bruce Brown confirms Richard Karl Miller, 23, and Allison Sarah Marcus, 22 both face 4th degree felony arson charges and have active warrants for their arrest. As of Monday morning, the pair was not in police custody.

lake christine
(credit: Nick Blakeslee)

CBS4 has also obtained exclusive photos from moments after the fire started Tuesday July, 3 at the Basalt Public Shooting Range.

Nick Blakeslee lives close to the range and saw smoke. He took the photo before fire and rescue crews reached the scene as the fire quickly spread.

Copter 3 Friday Lake Christine Fire_frame_200820
(credit: CBS)

In the chaos of the fire emergency, police originally issued the pair misdemeanor charges with a summons for shooting trace ammunition at the gun range, despite local fire bans. That ammunition sparked the fire. After reviewing the case, the DA's office added the more severe felony charges that carry a possible 6-year prison sentence if convicted.

Charges won't be formally filed until after the advisement once they are arrested.

"This is a very active investigation as we figure out total damage to property and more charges could come as we continue to learn more," Brown told CBS4's Matt Kroschel.

Three homes were destroyed in the fire that threatened the entire town of El Jebel and came close to burning hundreds of more homes in Basalt. Currently, the fire has burned more than 5,200 acres. As of Monday morning, it was 31 percent contained.

The Lake Christine Fire (credit: CBS)

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Colorado Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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