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Woman Charged With Starting The Fawn Fire Says It Was Accidental

More information is being released on the woman who has been charged with starting the Fawn Fire last week. According to Cal-Fire Law Enforcement, 30-year-old Alexandra Souverneva of Palo Alto said she accidentally started the Fawn Fire last Wednesday when she was boiling bear urine to drink. At around 8 O’clock Wednesday night as firefighters were working the fire behind the J.S. Shea Mountain Gate Quarry, they were approached by Souverneva. She told them she was dehydrated and needed medical attention. After examining her for dehydration, a law enforcement officer asked her to empty her pockets and fanny pack, finding a lighter, Co2 cartridges, and a pink and white item containing a green leafy substance she admitted to smoking that day. Souverneva told the officer she stopped her hike at a puddle to drink water and found it contained bear urine. After trying to filter the water with a tea bag, she attempted to make a fire to boil it, but that it was too wet for the fire to start. She said she continued to hike until she saw smoke and contacted fire department personnel. Souvereva pleaded not guilty when she appeared in court on Friday, and may be responsible for starting another fire elsewhere in Shasta County. She was charged with felony arson of forest land with an enhancement of committing arson during a state of emergency for wildfires. Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday declared a state of emergency in Shasta County due to the Fawn Fire, and Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson declared a local emergency last week.