Injured angler to testify in wildfire trial

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Glenwood Springs, Colo. (AP) - A fisherman who had to jump in a creek to survive a Garfield County wildfire last year is expected to testify against the rancher accused of starting it.

Retired Los Angeles Police Officer Larry Garfinkel testifies Monday in the arson case against Larry Gerbaz of Carbondale. Gerbaz faces fourth-degree arson charges for allegedly failing to smother a burning brush pile last April. The brush fire is blamed for starting a wind-driven fire that burned 1,000 acres.

Gerbaz's attorneys say high winds make it impossible to tell where that fire originated. But jurors will hear Monday from the former cop who barely survived the blaze. The trial is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.

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