Woman accused of causing Tally Ho Fire fails to appear in court

Jul. 28—The woman accused of starting the Gunbarrel Tally Ho fire in 2022 failed to appear in court this morning, prompting the judge to issue a warrant and continue the case for August.

Helena Syrovatkova, 49, surprised both her defense lawyer and the prosecutor on her case when she failed to appear in court today to resolve her case.

Defense attorney Zachary Reibstein said Syrovatkova had been wanting the case to be wrapped up as soon as possible, and based on recent conversations they had together there was no indication that she would not appear.

Reibstein said he was unable to get in contact with her and she currently is in the Czech Republic.

The prosecutor said she did not object to continuing the case without a warrant but Judge Monica Haenselman ordered a warrant and continued the case with the next appearance at 8:30 a.m on Aug. 11.

Syrovatkova pleaded not guilty in February to firing woods or prairie, according to online court records.

The charge is a petty offense, and it carries a maximum of 10 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. Prosecutors can also file for restitution if she were to be convicted.

According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Syrovatkova lit a fire in a metal backyard fire pit on the night of April 18, 2022, and extinguished it that same evening.

At around noon the following day, Syrovatkova spread the ashes in a garden bed along the backyard fence of her property, believing the ashes were out and they would be good fertilizer.

A short time later, Syrovatkova was inside her home when she saw smoke and flames outside in the yard and called 911 and tried to extinguish the fire.

The fire spread to a field south of Tally Ho Trail and ultimately grew to 10 acres before firefighters were able to extinguish it.

While a few residents were evacuated, no injuries or damaged homes were reported. The charges account for damage to the yards and fences of eight residential properties as well as open space grassland.

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