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Sheriff’s Office: Lake Christine Fire suspect rescued after skiing out of bounds

Posted at 5:38 AM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 07:38:55-05
Richard Miller
Photo of Richard Miller

ASPEN – One of the suspects accused of starting the 12,588-acre Lake Christine Fire last summer had to be rescued for skiing out of bounds at Aspen Highlands, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office said 23-year-old Richard Miller had to be rescued Sunday evening after ski patrol couldn’t find Miller during searches around the Highland bowl at the resort.

A team of 19 volunteer rescuers found him in heavy snow nearly four hours after he was last seen by the two friends he was skiing with. Rescue crews had to ski down to him in the dark and stomp a path for him to climb about 300 vertical feet back to the ski boundary. Miller and the rescuers skied to the base of the mountain and no one was hurt.

Rescuers said he did not have an avalanche beacon or any other safety equipment, despite high avalanche danger above the treeline.

Miller and 23-year-old Allison Marcus both pleaded not guilty to felony arson charges for starting the Lake Christine Fire last July. Investigators determined the fire was sparked by tracer rounds at a gun range.

It burned three homes and threatened hundreds more near Basalt.