GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Christopher Linsmayer, 68, is facing 12 counts of arson for burning slash piles near his Grand County home — and leaving them unattended. Linsmayer is suspected of burning slash piles which ignited the Gore Range Fire in 2016, which burned on his property and the property of several of his neighbors, but charges, in that case, were dropped.
Linsmayer is the husband of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann.
On Tuesday afternoon, deputies and firefighters responded to a report of a fire near a house on County Rd 14S in Kremmling.
They found multiple unattended slash piles actively burning near a home — and determined that Linsmayer did not have an adequate water source to extinguish the fires.
They couldn’t get a water truck to the fires — so multiple firefighters hiked in and put it out using hand tools, shovels, and the snow on the ground.
Kremmling Fire was able to get the slash piles knocked down temporarily, extinguishing the flames.
Deputies say Linsmayer started the fires on his property and then left. Deputies went back to the property on Wednesday and found four of the 12 slash piles were still smoldering and smoking. Kremmling firefighters came back and had to dig up the soil to further extinguish the slash piles.
“As of this time, there is no threat to the area with regard to fire spreading,” officials stated Thursday. “Deputies and Kremmling Fire will be following up and checking on the area throughout the week periodically verifying the threat has been minimized.”
Carolyn Tyler with the Denver District Attorney’s Office released this statement to CBS4, “Ms. McCann asked that I convey her thanks to the Kremmling Fire Department and to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office for their response. She sincerely regrets the incident and 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.”