Boulder County woman charged during Tally Ho Trail Fire investigation

 Tally Ho Trail Fire
Posted at 10:26 AM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 12:32:09-04

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A 48-year-old woman has been charged in connection to the Tally Ho Trail Fire, which broke out on April 19 in Boulder County and caused about $20,000 in damage.

On Friday, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office deputies charged Helena Syrovatkova, of unincorporated Boulder County, with “Firing woods or prairie” for causing a fire through criminal negligence in connection to the Tally Ho Trail Fire, according to the sheriff's office.

During the investigation, detectives determined that Syrovatkova had lit a fire in a metal backyard fire pit on the evening of April 18 — when there were no fire restrictions in place — and extinguished it later that evening. The following afternoon, she spread the ashes around a garden bed along her backyard fence, believing they were no longer hot and would be good fertilizer, the sheriff's office.

Shortly afterward, she went inside the home. While working indoors, she looked outside and saw flames and smoke in her backyard.

The sheriff's office said she tried to extinguish the fire and called 911.

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Investigators concluded that her decision to spread the ashes was criminally negligent, as it amounted to a gross deviation from the standard of care a reasonable person would have exercised under similar circumstances, the sheriff's office said.

The yards and fences of eight residential properties, plus open space grassland, were damaged in the April 19 fire.

It caused an estimated $20,000 in damage, but did not injure any people or animals, or burn any homes.

The sheriff's office said Syrovatkova has been cooperative with investigators.

Since the start of 2022, firefighters have responded to 12 wildland and grass fires. Altogether, they burned about 400 acres.

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