Woman arrested for sparking California wildfire

·2 min read
 (Shasta County Jail)
(Shasta County Jail)

A woman has been arrested for allegedly starting a quick-spreading Californiawildfire.

Alexandra Souverneva is suspected of lighting a fire near where the Fawn Fire started, according to Cal Fire.

Workers saw a woman acting suspiciously and trespassing on property in Shasta County, and authorities say that Ms Souverneva was later seen emerging near the fire line and asking fire crews for help.

Cal Fire said that she was found to have a lighter in her pocket and she was removed from the area for evaluation and treatment.

Officials say that during an interview with Cal Fire law enforcement officers came to believe she was responsible for starting the fire.

The 30-year-old from Palo Alto, California, was arrested and booked into Shasta County Jail.

The county’s District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett has now charged her with felony arson to wildland with an enhancement due to the declared state of emergency California is under.

The prosecutor says that Ms Souverneva is also suspected of setting more fires in the county and other areas of California.

The Fawn Fire has already burned more than 5,850 acres of remote land amid hot and gusty winds and has destroyed 25 structures.

Officials say that around 2,000 other structures are at risk and people in neighbouring areas have been warned they may have to leave.

The number of people already under evacuation orders is not known.

California fires have burned more than 3,671 square miles this year, destroying more than 3,200 homes, commercial properties, and other structures.

News of the arrest comes as a California power company has been charged with manslaughter for its equipment sparking a 2020 wildfire that left four people dead and hundreds more homeless.

Pacific Gas & Electric, the country’s largest utility company, has been charged on 31 counts by prosecutors over the Zogg Fire, which burned last year near the city of Redding.

Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett announced on Friday that the manslaughter and other criminal charges against the company including 11 felonies.

Last year the company pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 blaze caused by its electrical grid that destroyed the town of Paradise in the deadliest US wildfire in a century.

The Zogg fire broke out on began on 27 September 2020 and burned around 87 square miles of the Sierra Nevada, killing four people and destroying almost 200 homes.

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California power company charged with manslaughter over 2020 wildfire

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