Crime Woman Charged with Arson After Allegedly Starting California Wildfire Trying to Boil Water As of Monday, the Fawn Fire has burned over 8,500 acres and is 60 percent contained after thousands of residents were evacuated By Benjamin VanHoose Benjamin VanHoose Twitter Benjamin VanHoose is an Associate Editor on the Movies team at PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE for over three years as a writer and reporter across our Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams, covering everything from the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial to the Oscars. He regularly covers red carpet events and has interviewed stars like Drew Barrymore, Ryan Reynolds and Kirsten Dunst. He previously worked as a copy editor at Topix Media Lab. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 28, 2021 11:03 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Douglas County Sheriff's Jail The woman who allegedly ignited the ongoing Fawn Fire in California could be connected to other recent wildfires, investigators believe. Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for another area, Shasta County, on Monday due to the Fawn Fire, which, as of Monday, had burned 8,559 acres, according to a press release from the governor's office. This fire began on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and has caused thousands to be forced to evacuate affected areas. According to CNN, 30-year-old Alexandra Souverneva is facing a felony arson charge with an enhancement of committing arson during a state of emergency. Since the fire is continuing to develop, the charges could change to reflect the damages. "We are aware that there are possible additional fires here in our county that [Souverneva] may be linked to as well as other charges in other fires, statewide. My office will not hesitate to prosecute [any] person who either intentionally or recklessly starts a fire," said District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett at a press conference Friday, per CNN. AP Photo/Ethan Swope Souverneva pleaded not guilty and is next due in court on Oct. 5, with a preliminary hearing set for the following day. On Tuesday, her attorney told PEOPLE that her client is innocent in the ongoing investigation and "no evidence has been presented to the contrary." "We request that the public not prejudge this case," said Shana Vegvary of the Shasta County Public Defender's Office. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. Largest Single Wildfire in Calif. History Destroys Nearly 550 Homes, Threatens More AP Photo/Ethan Swope According to documents filed by an California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection law enforcement officer, obtained by the local outlet Record Searchlight, authorities claim Souverneva said she was hiking to Canada when she tried to filter, then boil, water from a puddle to drink. On her person, she allegedly had CO2 cartridges, a lighter and "a green, leafy substance she admitted to smoking that day," the document said. As of Monday, the Fawn Fire is 60 percent contained, Cal Fire said. NBC News reported that Souverneva is a former yoga instructor. A former colleague told the outlet, "She was into conservation and forests. ... She would have been the last person I would have thought to get involved in something like this."