Man repeatedly warned for burning slash charged with 24 counts of arson
The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has filed felony charges against a man who’s been continuously cited for burning slash over the last four years.
Christopher Linsmayer, 68, faces 12 counts of felony arson and 12 counts of misdemeanor arson after emergency crews responded to his home Oct. 27 for 12 slash piles with four actively burning.
According to the sheriff’s office, fire crews had to hike into Linsmayer’s property because an engine couldn’t get near the area due to snow. Crews put out the flames using snow, shovels and hand tools before returning Wednesday to ensure the slash piles were extinguished.
The sheriff’s office says Linsmayer was not on the property when crews responded.
The slash piles were burned with the county under a Stage 2 fire ban and the East Troublesome Fire torching over 192,000 acres in Grand County and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Linsmayer has a history of burning out of season. He was charged in November 2019 with fourth degree arson after an August incident in which he burned a slash pile out of season on a Red Flag warning day.
Linsmayer pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Grand County ordinance regarding burn permits in February. He was sentenced to pay roughly $1,500 in fines and a $1,000 donation to Mountain Family Center or victim restitution.
In 2016, a 10 acre wildfire known as the Gore Ridge Fire started on Linsmayer’s property and spread to a neighboring property, causing over $100,000 in damage.
An investigation into the Gore Ridge Fire revealed that Linsmayer had burned three or four slash piles that were larger than allowed by ordinance. Linsmayer was not cited for the wildfire, but he agreed to pay Grand County roughly $190,000 for fire suppression efforts and restitution to his neighbor, Henry Meier.
According to the sheriff’s office, Linsmayer was also cited for a county ordinance violation on Nov. 1, 2016 and other reports of inappropriate burning were filed on April 7, 2017, and on Sept. 16, 2017, but Linsmayer was not cited.
Linsmayer is husband to Denver District Attorney Beth McCann. He scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 15.
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