EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two people accused of causing the massive Lake Christine Fire in July of 2018 pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Allison Marcus and Richard Miller pleaded guilty to setting fire to woods or prairie, a misdemeanor.
Both originally faced 4th degree arson charges. Those charges were dismissed.
Prosecutors say Marcus fired a tracer round at the Basalt State Wildlife Area Shooting Range. There were stage two fire restrictions in effect at the time.
Three homes were destroyed, hundreds of people were forced to evacuate for weeks, but no one was hurt.
“Shooting tracer rounds during a fire ban is a reckless act. We can only prosecute cases based on the strength of the evidence we can prove in any case at trial. And, based on the overall tenor of our case at this juncture, a plea agreement was reached with the defendants,” said Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum.
The plea agreement includes 45 days in jail, five-years supervised probation, 1,500 hours useful public service, and $200,000 total restitution.
Court officials say Marcus and Miller would have to work eight hours every week for nearly four years to complete their community service.
Both will be sentenced on July 1.
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