Christopher Linsmayer, the husband of Denver DA Beth McCann, has been charged with 12 felony arson charges and 12 misdemeanor arson charges in connection with slash fires he started on his Grand County property in violation of a local fire ban last month.
Linsmayer, 68, allegedly started several small fires on his property in Kremmling and left, which “placed area residents and first responders in danger of death or serious bodily injury,” Grand County District Attorney Matt Karzen said.
The fires, which were reportedly set between Oct. 25 and Oct. 27, were started while the East Troublesome Fire was burning nearby. The East Troublesome Fire has engulfed almost 200,000 acres since Oct. 14 and destroyed more than 100 homes. It is still only 37 percent contained.
“Those of us that make our homes in the mountains and forests understand just how important it is to honor fire restrictions,” Karzen said in a statement. “Violating those restrictions puts residents and first responders at great risk, which is simply unacceptable.”
Grand County Sheriff's deputies said in a Facebook post that they were dispatched to Linsmayer’s home in the Gorewood Subdivision after receiving reports of possible fires burning near a house. Firefighters couldn’t get a water truck up there, so they put out the flames using hand tools and shovels.
The next morning, they returned and found additional fires burning. Officials say they couldn’t find Linsmayer because he had left his property — and apparently the fires. The fires did not escape the property.
McCann, in a statement released last week, thanked Grand County officials for helping extinguish the fires and called it a “very difficult” time for the family. She said the family is cooperating fully with the investigation.