Alexandra Souverneva, 30, was formally charged with arson for starting the massive Shasta County wildfire in California last week.
According to The LA Times, the fire ignited Wednesday and had scorched more than 5,850 acres by Friday.
Souverneva, who lists her occupation as “Shaman,” has pleaded not guilty to charges ranging from committing arson during a state of emergency to felony arson. If found guilty, she faces nine years in prison.
Souverneva told authorities that she was trying to reach Canada by hiking through the California woods.
According to her account, she got thirsty and spotted a puddle on the ground. Thinking it was bear urine, she intended to boil it first, so she tried to make a fire.
A woman charged with igniting a California wildfire that has destroyed 144 properties pleaded guilty. She said it started while she was boiling bear urine to drink https://t.co/lzc5Yg7Z8G— KMOX St. Louis News (@kmoxnews) September 28, 2021
Souverneva’s attorney said Sourverneva made statements that indicated a mental health crisis or “something to do with drug abuse.”
The Redding Record-Searchlight reports that the woman may also be linked to other fires in Shasta County and California.