Wildfires have plagued the Western United States especially hard this past summer. As such, investigators continue to look into their causes. Most recently, it appears a California woman was charged with arson in connection to the state’s Fawn Fire.
The Fawn Fire currently burns north of Redding, CA. It has engulfed a total of 100 homes and buildings so far. The Fawn fire has further scorched more than 7,000 acres across the state. In its wake, more than 8,000 people have been forced to evacuate ahead of the fire.
According to the New York Post, the 30-year-old Palo Alto woman, Alexandra Souverneva, officially faces felony arson charges for the Fawn Fire. The outlet stated California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection found evidence of the claim earlier this week. The agency shared Souverneva had been trespassing near a quarry in a remote canyon at the time. They further stated she “act[ed] irrationally” when she walked out of the brush near the fire.
Thereafter, the woman claimed she needed medical treatment after emerging. Authorities found a working lighter in her pocket at the time of the arrest.
As far as the extent of the fire’s reaches, the Fawn Fire saw only 10% containment as of Saturday. However, cooler temperatures and rain appear in this week’s upcoming forecast. Sunday morning sees fire crews hoping for an assist from the weather in battling the ongoing blaze.
Fawn Fire Forced Evacuation Less than 48 Hours Following Ignition
The Fawn Fire is by no means anywhere near the size of this summer’s most threatening and massive fire, the Dixie Fire. However, it still posed and continues to pose, incredible threats to the state’s inhabitants.
The Fawn Fire ignited on Wednesday afternoon near Redding. Little more than 24 hours later, the blaze already forced authorities to issue mandatory evacuations ahead of its path. Officially, evacuation orders came from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office Thursday. The evacuation order consisted of Shasta County residents near Mountain Gate and Shasta Lake.
In a Tweet, the sheriff’s office wrote, “All roads off of Old Oregon Trail in both directions between Bear Mountain north to Interstate 5 must evacuate immediately.”
Later Thursday evening, authorities increased the reaches of the evacuation order. At the time, residents living off of all roads west of Dry Creek, north of Squaw Grass Trail, east of Creek Trail, and South of Bear Mountain additionally had to evacuate.
However, what made the evacuation orders most severe came when Shasta College occupants were forced to evacuate as well. The evacuation proves detrimental to fire crews and first responders. Previously, the college served as a staging area for support teams.
Further, while the Fawn Fire destroyed 100 homes and buildings in its wake so far, a Thursday report claimed the wildfire potentially threatens around 2,000 structures.
So hopefully, as we head into this last week of September, rainy weather and cooler temperatures do in fact contribute to a break in fire crews’ ongoing battle with the state’s blazes.