Kremmling man facing charges over illegal burns the husband of Denver DA
February 15, 2017
Multiple illegal burns west of Kremmling recently sparked concern for residents worried about another Gore Ridge Fire and possible charges against Christopher Linsmayer, the 65-year-old husband of Beth McCann, the district attorney for the Denver area.
On Nov. 1, Grand County authorities were called to a residence on County Road 14S, in the Gorewood Estates subdivision west of Kremmling, on reports of an illegal burn operation. Upon arrival, authorities discovered four slash piles burning on the property. The owner of the residence, Linsmayer, was ticketed for the fires. Linsmayer was issued a summons for violation of Grand County burning ordinances in early November of last year.
Attempts to reach Linsmayer were unsuccessful.
The call to authorities was made by some of Linsmayer's neighbors who were concerned about the safety of their property after noticing the fires. Their concern was additionally heightened after a sizable wildfire, called the Gore Ridge Fire, burned up portions of the same area in mid-September. The Kremmling Fire Protection District responded and extinguished the slash pile fires on Linsmayer's property in relatively short order.
Grand County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dan Mayer has said publicly that investigators suspected the Gore Ridge Fire could have originated from Linsmayer's property. However, Linsmayer has not been charged in connection with that blaze, which was ignited by a burning slash pile that got out of control on Sept. 13. That fire burned significant portions of the wooded slopes and brushy hillsides of the Gorewood Estates subdivision and surrounding areas. No one was injured during the fire and no structures were damaged.
Both the Gore Ridge Fire and the slash pile fires on Linsmayer's property followed a hot dry summer in Grand County and the American West that featured numerous wildfire outbreaks. On July 15, Grand County government announced fire restrictions for the county that prohibited open fires and other flame sources. Those restrictions were suspended on Sept. 1, shortly before the ignition of the Gore Ridge Fire.
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Linsmayer was not charged with violation of last summer's burn restrictions and was instead charged with violating Grand County's standard burn ordinances. Linsmayer's court proceedings in January pertained only to the ticket he was issued for the slash pile burns on Nov. 1, and is not related to the Gore Ridge Fire.
Linsmayer appeared before County Court Judge Nick Catanzarite on Jan. 23, along with his legal counsel Jack DiCola, former attorney for Grand County government. Grand County's current attorney, Alan Hassler, also appeared in court. DiCola requested a continuance from Judge Catanzarite, which was granted, to provide time for the two parties to negotiate a plea agreement. The case is set to go back before Judge Catanzarite for a scheduled arraignment on March 6.
Christopher Linsmayer is the husband of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, Denver's first ever female DA. Prior to her election to that position, McCann was the State Representative for Colorado House District 8 that includes portions of central Denver between I-70 and I-25. Christopher Linsmayer and McCann are the parents of Chris Linsmayer, public affairs manager for Ski Country USA.