Authorities are hoping that two suspects responsible for firing tracer rounds and ultimately starting a massive wildfire near Aspen will turn themselves by week’s end.
The Aspen Times is reporting that Richard Miller (23) and Sarah Marcus (22) confessed to firing the shots at the Basalt Shooting Range that began the fire after one of them initially denied having used tracer rounds.
Miller later admitted to having used such incendiary ammo, doubling back on his initial statement. They have since been charged with 4th degree arson. Tracer ammunition is prohibited during fire bans.
“The Lake Christine Fire is burning approximately one mile northwest of Basalt, Colorado. The fire grew significantly on the Fourth of July, driven by strong outflow winds, extremely dry fuels, and single digit relative humidity. The extreme fire behavior on July 4 necessitated evacuations of approximately 1793 residents from 664 homes by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Local crews worked through the night, saving hundreds of homes. Unfortunately, three homes were destroyed. As of July 7th, approximately 782 evacuees from 279 homes have returned home.” – InciWeb
The wildfire claimed 3 residences and forced some 782 to evacuate. Those evacuees have since returned home and the blaze is currently 39% contained. Rain last night helped crews get a handle on the fire front and containment efforts are expected to progress significantly today. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has since closed The Basalt Shooting Range indefinitely.
Find the entire Aspen Times article here: Arson suspect in Basalt fire initially denied firing tracer rounds