REDDING, Calif. — Fire investigators believe the woman arrested for starting the Fawn Fire may have started another fire in the City Of Shasta Lake the night before the Fawn Fire started. That's just one of the details revealed in the court documents filed by the Shasta County District Attorney Friday.
Alexandra Souverneva has been charged with arson and a special allegation for starting a fire during a state of emergency.
According to the report from Matt Alexander with Cal Fire, he was called to the area near Fawndale Road for a reported vegetation fire at 4:43 p.m. Wednesday. When he arrived at Mountain Gate Quarry Road around 5 p.m. there was a 10-acre fire burning in a creek drainage and up the hillside.
An employee with JF Shea Quarry told him a woman was trespassing on quarry property around 9 a.m. that morning. When employees told her to leave she ignored them and wandered off towards vegetation, dropping two small CO2 cartridges and a AA battery.
Alexander says he accessed the fire's edge and realized it was in the same area where the woman had been seen walking. The origin of the fire was found in the area of a dry creek bed.
At around 8 p.m. a Cal Fire Captain requested assistance for a woman suffering from dehydration. After the woman was evaluated by paramedics she was identified as Souverneva and questioned by Alexander.
During questioning, Souverneva emptied her pockets of CO2 cartridges matching the ones found at the quarry, a functioning lighter and a white item containing a green leafy substance she admitted to smoking earlier in the day.
Alexander says she described the white item as an "incendiary device" that she made by removing the battery. She told Alexander she had been hiking in the area that day and was told by people that she couldn't be on the property.
Alexander says Souverneva told him she continued hiking because she was trying to get to Canada. She said she was thirsty and had found a puddle in a dry creek bed but that it contained bear urine. She said she tried to filter the water using a tea bag but that didn't work so she tried to start a fire to boil the water. She said it was too wet to start a fire so she drank the water and continued walking uphill.
According to Alexander, she said she saw airplanes dropping pink stuff and saw smoke. She got stuck in some brush where she was found by fire department personnel.
On Tuesday, September 21 just before 9:15 p.m. there was another vegetation fire in the City of Shasta Lake near Cascade Boulevard and Shasta Dam Boulevard. Alexander asked Souverneva where she was that day and she told him she had been in the Shasta County Jail until 4 p.m.
She said she had walked north and found water but did not try to boil the water on Tuesday. Based on his experience Alexander says he believes Souverneva started the fire on Tuesday and the Fawn Fire.
Souverneva was arrested for arson and booked into the Shasta County Jail.