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Woman charged in Fawn Fire to be examined for mental health

Firefighter Ron Burias battles the Fawn Fire as it spreads
Posted at 1:29 PM, Oct 06, 2021

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A 30-year-old woman accused of starting a wildfire in Northern California that destroyed dozens of homes last month will be examined by psychiatrists to determine her mental stability before court proceedings continue.

Alexandra Souverneva of Palo Alto appeared before a judge in Redding on Tuesday. Authorities believe Souverneva set the Fawn Fire on Sept. 22 that burned 185 homes and other buildings in an unincorporated area north of the city of Redding.

Souverneva is facing a felony arson charge and could face up to nine years in prison if convicted. She pleaded not guilty. Her attorney, Gregg Cohen, raised concerns in court about her competence.

The court agreed to have her evaluated before her next appearance in November.