On Wednesday, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett decided not to file charges against the volunteer firefighter thought to have accidentally started the Fourmile Canyon fire. But no such luck for Joel Ledermann, who's been formally accused of fourth-degree arson in relation to the smaller but still destructive Reservoir Road fire near Loveland.
According to news reports, Ledermann was burning brush on his property without a permit when the fire began spreading. A release from the Eighth Judicial District, which has jurisdiction in the case, points out that "a person commits fourth degree arson if they recklessly start a fire which places other people or property in danger," and DA Larry Abrahamson has decided that Ledermann qualifies.
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Ledermann's attorney says his client "is devastated by the impact this fire has had on his neighbors and the resources of this community."
Nonetheless, he faces a sentence that could net him two-to-six years in jail.