The husband of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann faces 12 counts of fourth-degree arson for leaving 12 burning slash piles unattended, violating a Grand County fire ban near the East Troublesome fire.
The Grand County Sheriff's Office said Christopher Linsmayer, 68, is charged in connection with the fire ignitions in violation of the Stage 2 ban, in place since August.
The sheriff's office said deputies were dispatched to the Gorewood Subdivision off County Road 14S on Tuesday about 4:20 p.m. on a report of a possible fire burning near a home.
They discovered numerous unattended slash piles actively burning.
Deputies learned the property owner, later identified as Linsmayer, had left the property that morning.
Weather conditions prevented firefighters from the Kremmling Fire Department getting a water truck to the fires, so they used hand tools, shovels and snow to extinguish the fires.
"Ms. McCann asked that I convey her thanks to the Kremmling Fire Department and to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office for their response," McCann spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said in a statement.
"She is thankful that no property was damaged nor any injuries sustained. This is a very difficult time for her and her family, and they are cooperating fully with the investigation. Because this is an open investigation, I cannot provide details or discuss this incident."
On Wednesday, deputies returned to the scene to find that four of the 12 slash piles were still smoldering and smoking.
Firefighters returned to fully extinguish the piles by digging up the soil.
The sheriff's office said there is no threat of the fire spreading in the area at this time. Deputies and firefighters will monitor the area throughout the week.
Linsmayer has a history of fire-related offenses.
In August 2019, he was charged with fourth-degree arson and violating a county ordinance. SkiHi News reported the charges were a result of Linsmayer burning a slash pile on a red flag warning day.
In November 2016, Linsmayer was charged with having an open fire without a burn permit. Those charges were later dismissed, according to court records.
In September 2016, the Gore Ridge fire, which burned 10 acres, started on Linsmayer’s property, SkyHi News reported. The fire spread to a neighboring property and caused more than $100,000 in damage.
The sheriff's office said deputies tried to contact Linsmayer regarding the most recent fire violations and were advised that he had already spoken with his attorney about the situation.
The case has been referred to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
"Our office has not yet received all of the investigative case materials," District Attorney Matt Karzen said. "Upon receipt of those materials, we will assess what precise charges are supported by the evidence, and any appropriate charges will be formally filed with the court, but clearly, this is a serious problem."