Lake Christine Fire Starters Sentenced

Allison Marcus, 23, and Richard Miller, 24, of Carbondale, were sentenced in Eagle County District Court today as a result of their guilty pleas May 22, 2019 to: Setting Fire to Woods or Prairie, a misdemeanor, admitting their involvement in setting the Lake Christine Fire, near Basalt, Colo. on July 3, 2018. Defendant Marcus discharged the tracer round that started the wildfire at Basalt State Wildlife Area Shooting Range. At the time, Eagle County had a Stage II fire restriction in effect prohibiting the use of tracer ammunition.

The terms of the plea agreement include 45 days jail, five-years supervised probation, 1,500 hours useful public service, and $200,000 total restitution. Pending felony charges for 4 th Degree Arson (F4) were dismissed.

“Although these two people could never pay back the entire costs of this fire---from first responders’ efforts, to those who lost property and houses, etc.--we think this is an appropriate sentence which requires extensive community service as well as heavy fines,” said Heidi McCollum, 5 th Judicial Assistant District Attorney. “There are tremendous lessons learned here, and our hope is the community sees these defendants giving something back to the community for the massive damage they caused,” she added. Each defendant would have to work eight hours every week for more than 3½ years to satisfy their community service requirements of this plea agreement.

“We want to thank the tireless efforts of all of our local first responders, as well as the many firefighting teams from all over the country who worked so hard to protect the lives and property of our residents in the Basalt and Mid-Valley area. We are forever grateful,” said Ms. McCollum.

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