A woman from Palo Alto, California, has been charged with arson-related fires that burned nearly 9,850 acres and damaged more than 25 buildings in Shasta County, officials said. The death toll has worsened during the brutal fire season.
Alexandra Souernava, a 30-year-old woman who was arrested Thursday, faces up to nine years in prison if convicted, District Attorney Shasta said. The fire in Fawn was about 10% on Friday night and resulted in mandatory evacuations in parts of the county.
Officials say Sowernava may have started another fire in Shasta County, Northern California. Officials declined to say what other fires he might have involved in, but District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridget said in an interview Friday that there was more than one in her district and at least one other. IN THE.
According to the state fire department Cal Fire, wildfires in California have burned nearly two million acres so far this year.
A local businessman in the Mountain Gate area near Redding, about 160 miles north of Sacramento, told Cal Fire officials that Sowernava saw them when the fire broke out on Wednesday and was “acting strangely,” Ms. Sowernava Bridget. Press conference on Friday night. He gave no further details.
JT Juliger, head of the Cal Fire Battalion, said Sauvneva was ordered to leave and staff saw her flee into the hills above her location that afternoon. He said the fire started at 4:45 p.m. local time.
Cal Fire staff then saw Ms. Sowernava came out of the bushes with a lighter in her pocket, said Ms. Bridget. Sowernawa told local firefighters he was dehydrated and needed medical attention, Bridget said.
“It was right there, very close to the fire site,” said Bridget. Mrs Soownerva came out of the woods, “where no one else is,” said Mrs Bridget.
Chief Zuliger said he was arrested after receiving medical treatment and evacuation.
A message to Miss Sovereign’s phone number went unanswered on Friday. It was not immediately clear if there were any lawyers.
Principal Kathy A. Sweeten said that Sauvarnava graduated from the California Institute of Technology with degrees in chemistry and biology and graduated in 2012. According to her LinkedIn profile, Ms. Souvarnava worked as a part-time teacher in 2020 and previously as a medicinal chemistry researcher. at Gilead Sciences.
Officials said the fire in Von was spreading rapidly due to dry winds. “People need to get out of the area very quickly,” said Ms. Bridget. “There are still many community members who are still being evacuated.”
Images posted by KRCR TV showed smoky skies, fires turning buildings to ashes, and wooden houses burning in bright orange and red flames.
14 arrests were made in Shasta County and 103 across the country that year, according to Chief Juliger. He did not share a possible motive in the Sovarnava case, but said arsonists usually act under pressure.