- The Fawn Fire started Wednesday and has burned nearly 10,000 acres in Northern California.
- A woman found near its starting point with a lighter has been charged with felony arson.
- Officials believe she may be a serial arsonist and are investigating her connection to other fires.
A woman has been arrested and charged with felony arson in connection to a wildfire in Northern California that has burned about 9,850 acres, destroying homes and prompting mandatory evacuations, officials said Friday.
The Fawn Fire started Wednesday afternoon in Shasta County and quickly spread. The woman, Alexandra Souverneva, 30, was arrested on Thursday, Cal Fire said in a press release.
On Wednesday, several civilians contacted police to say a woman was in the area trespassing and acting “irrationally.” Later that evening, Cal Fire encountered Souverneva when she walked out of the brush near where the fire had started. She approached firefighters and said she was dehydrated and in need of medical attention.
She had a lighter in her pocket, Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridgett said during a Friday press conference. Souverneva was arrested at the scene and the DA said a preliminary investigation determined arson was the cause of the fire.
Officials now believe Souverneva could be connected to several other fires in the county and state and are investigating.
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“We are aware that there are possible additional fires here in our county that she may be linked to,” Bridgett said.
Souverneva faces a maximum penalty of nine years in state prison, according to Bridgett. She also advised people to be extra cautious during the state’s drought and dry weather conditions.
“My office will not hesitate to prosecute any person who either intentionally or recklessly starts a fire,” she said.
As of Friday, the Fawn Fire was about 10% contained and still burning, J.T. Zulliger, the Cal Fire battalion chief, said during the press conference.
Wildfires have burned an estimated total of nearly 2 million acres in California this year.
Courtesy By INSIDER