Trial begins in Carbondale fire that hurt fisherman
Carbondale, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado – A trial is under way for a western Colorado man charged with arson after an April 2008 wildfire injured a fisherman and damaged four houses.
Prosecutors say a debris fire started by rancher Larry Gerbaz flared up and spread, eventually causing serious burns to the fisherman.
Defense attorney Tom Silverman says no one knows how the fire started because many landowners had burn permits and winds were so strong that embers could have blown long distances.
He says Gerbaz took many precautions to manage and then extinguish his debris fire.
Both sides made opening arguments Tuesday.
Gerbaz faces a felony arson charge stemming from the fisherman’s injuries and a misdemeanor arson charge stemming from the property damage.
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