Peninsula Daily News
A 34-year-old Forks man who was arrested Sunday for investigation of second-degree arson was charged Monday with felony first-degree reckless burning for allegedly setting his Chevrolet Suburban on fire and burning nearby vegetation and trees.
Christopher Dennis Hinchen, released Monday on his own recognizance after his Superior Court appearance, must maintain a residence at a Port Angeles address and is scheduled for a court appearance Friday.
Hinchen’s vehicle was reported engulfed in flames at 11:15 a.m. Sunday on the side of the 100 block of Shuwah Road in Forks in an area commonly used for fishing access, according to county Sheriff’s Deputy David Fletcher’s arrest report.
The Suburban, parked next to the vehicle of a fisherman who also was a witness, had been traded to Hinchen about a week earlier, Fletcher said.
The witness said he saw an adult male leaving the area yelling, “Don’t tell anyone I’m going downriver,” according to the report.
The witness had to move his vehicle to prevent it from potential damage.
Hinchen, located in the area about five hours later, said he burned his truck on purpose “due to reaching a breaking point in his life,” according to the arrest report.
Forks Police Officer Julie Goode, West End Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Pursley, and Forks Fire Department personnel responded to the blaze.