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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Suspected West Hills arsonist now charged with Dishman Hills fires

Vickie L. Smith, shown on screen, makes her initial appearance Aug. 16 in Spokane County District Court for first-degree arson charges.  (Garrett Cabeza / The Spokesman-Review)

A 53-year-old woman who was charged with setting three West Hills fires early last month has been charged with lighting five fires in the Dishman Hills area that same day.

Five counts of second-degree arson were added this month to the three counts of first-degree arson Vickie L. Smith already faced, according to court documents.

Smith told investigators God told her to light all eight fires to spread her message about the inability of disabled people, like her, to get housing in Spokane. She said the blazes were also in retaliation for people who would not assist her with her housing needs.

The West Hills fires forced residents to evacuate and threatened dozens of structures, but none burned and no injuries were reported.

The fires damaged landscape and timber at Finch Arboretum and Indian Canyon Golf Course, documents say. They also damaged property at the Catalyst Project, a Catholic Charities Eastern Washington shelter.

The Dishman Hills fires damaged landscape and timber as well but were quickly extinguished.

Smith was arrested in Tukwila, Washington, one week after the Aug. 3 fires.

Smith directed investigators to the location of the eight fires, saying she used a paper towel and lighter to ignite each one, except for one of the West Hills fires where she used a feminine pad to light the fire, according to court records.

Smith also allegedly admitted to writing graffiti in downtown Spokane referring to burning the city Aug. 3.

Smith remained in the Spokane County Jail Thursday on a $75,000 bond and is set for trial Nov. 13.