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California woman arrested for starting massive Fawn Fire after she approached fire crews

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Amy Graff

SFGate, San Francisco

Sep. 24—A 30-year-old woman from Palo Alto was arrested Thursday on suspicion of starting a wildfire north of Redding that is threatening communities and has forced more than 2,500 people to evacuate their homes.

30-year-old Alexandra Souverneva. Photo courtesy of the Roseburg Police Department

Editor’s Note: A linkedIn profile for Alexandra Souverneva lists her as a “Shaman.”

The Fawn Fire sparked Wednesday, grew to 3,500 acres in less than 24 hours, and exploded Thursday afternoon amid breezy conditions, threatening the Mountain Gate neighborhood.

Alexandra Souverneva was booked at the Shasta County Jail on suspicion of “arson to wildland.” This charge could carry an enhancement upon conviction, due to California’s current state of emergency declared over wildfire danger.

Cal Fire said the fire was first reported at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in a remote canyon on property accessed through the JF Shea and Mountain Gate quarries.

Employees of the quarry reported seeing a female trespasser “acting irrationally” before the fire erupted, Cal Fire said.

Later that night at 8, the woman was later seen walking out of the brush, and she approached firefighters who were actively battling flames. She said she was dehydrated and needed medical treatment.

Cal Fire interviewed the woman, who was identified as Souverneva, and arrested her on suspicion of starting the fire.

She is being held on $100,000 bail, according to county records.

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