The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Arson suspect in custody


September 10, 2020

Beaver Creek resident Matthew Johnson, 39, was arrested on September 2 and charged with attempted arson in the second degree.

On August 29, the Skamokawa Fire Department, the Skamokawa ambulance, deputies, and the Department of Natural Resources responded to a brush fire near Vista Park. According to a deputy’s report, there were four locations where fires had been extinguished, including an area, 30 x 30 feet, which drew near the shop building at Vista Park. A DNR investigator said that he believed that accelerant had been used to start the fire.

Video footage showed Johnson exiting the shop with a can of diesel within minutes of the fire being reported.

His bail was set at $5,000 and he is currently being held at Wahkiakum County Jail. He is scheduled to return to Superior Court on September 14 at 9:30 a.m. for a pretrial hearing.

Johnson was an employee of Vista Park.


Reader Comments

Blondie20 writes:

In response to Steve: Maybe you shouldn’t try to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye before you remove the timber from your own eye!

Steve writes:

Innocent till proven guilty of course however in a time when many are being displaced and some killed because of fires, if guilty this man should spend many years in prison. Vista Park of course needs to do background checks on all its hires.


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