Lake Christine Fire closer to full containment; community meeting Tuesday |

Lake Christine Fire closer to full containment; community meeting Tuesday

Staff reports
This map of the Lake Christine Fire was released Monday, July 30, and shows the fire at 82 percent contained (marked by the black border).

Officials working the Lake Christine Fire updated late Sunday night that the fire was moved to 82 percent contained and remained at 12,588 acres since the morning.

Crews made their biggest gains late last week and through the weekend with fire lines and air drops on the north and west sides, then moved to the east side Sunday. By Sunday morning the containment had improved to 72 percent.

In an update Monday morning, officials reported there is a small section along on the north side near Forest Service Road 509 that still needs to be contained and has “spot fires that range in size from four to seven acres.”

On the east side, hotshot crews and air drops will focus on the fire from the Basalt Mountain Trail intersection to the south, according to the update.

Much of the focus Monday will turn to suppression repair, which is done to “minimize noticeable and long-term impacts of the constructed fire lines,” officials said.

The work includes going back to areas where fire lines were made and filling in trenches and spreading out the piles of vegetation and dirt.

Crews are starting to be sent to other fires in the state, and currently there are 390 personnel on the Lake Christine Fire.

There is a community meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Basalt High School to give updates as the type 2 incident command team moves toward its goal of total containment before they rotate out Thursday.

The people suspected of starting the fire —  23-year-old Richard Miller and Allison Marcus, 22, both El Jebel residents — are scheduled to be in Eagle County District Court in Eagle on Tuesday morning for a bond hearing. They are facing four felony counts each related to allegedly starting the fire on July 3 by firing tracer rounds at the state wildlife area shooting range near Basalt.  They currently are free on a $7,500 bond each.

The three homes destroyed have a combined value of $2.65 million, according to an arrest affidavit. Miller and Marcus each face three fourth-degree felony arson charges as well as a Class 6 felony charge of firing woods or prairie.

This is a developing story that will be updated.