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February 23, 2017

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Rabbit Mountain Fire update

The cause of the Rabbit Mountain Fire was determined to be related to target shooters at the Round Mountain Ranch

Boulder County, Colo. - Sheriff and fire investigators have been able to determine that the Rabbit Mountain Fire that started on February 20th was caused by target shooters at the Round Mountain Ranch at 6303 Ute Highway. The target shooters had been shooting steel plates when a fragment from one of the rounds ignited nearby grasses, which were extremely dry. The target shooters attempted to extinguish the fire but the fire rapidly spread due to the dry fuels on the ground and the weather conditions, including high winds. The target shooters placed the 911 call reporting the fire.

The fire burned just over 151 acres, including four buildings: three outbuildings and one barn, all on neighboring properties; and one horse trailer. No animals or livestock perished in the ensuing fire, which is contrary to initial citizen reports. It was initially believed that one horse may have been injured in the fire; however, through further investigation it was determined the injury was a pre-existing condition. The Hygiene Fire Protection District is continuing to patrol the area and mop-up hot spots, as they are located.

Sheriff's investigators are discussing the circumstances surrounding the Rabbit Mountain Fire with the District Attorney's Office to determine if criminal charges will be filed as a result of the fire. The identities of the target shooters are not being released, as the investigation remains open and on-going.

The case number associated with the #RabbitMntFire investigation is 17-1045.

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/s/ Cmdr. Mike Wagner
Public Information Officer