Update: Fawn fire near Redding reaches 7,500 acres overnight; Firefighters seek cooler weather

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REDDING (TUSEN SF) – The Fawn Fire searing north of Redding has reached over 7,500 acres overnight, as firefighters wait for cooler weather in the coming days to aid in their efforts, officials said Saturday morning.

Cal Fire reported in its update on Saturday that the blaze burning near Lake Shasta has burned 7,544 acres since it began on Wednesday afternoon. Containment remained at 10%.

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Officials said weather conditions are expected to improve in the coming days as winds continue to ease as high pressure sets in over the weekend. The winds will be south to southwest on Saturday, gusting up to 15 mph.

Rain is possible from Monday late afternoon on Tuesday.

More than 9,000 structures remain threatened. Officials said they identified around 100 damaged or destroyed structures through an “informal windshield investigation.” Damage inspection teams are expected to arrive at the scene on Saturday to begin a detailed assessment.

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Evacuation orders remain in effect for the following areas:

  • All the way Holiday Road south of Old Oregon Trail.
  • All routes north of Old Oregon Trail to Akrich north of Pine Grove and east of Interstate 5.
  • Tierra Oaks and its surroundings.
  • All roads east of Dry Creek along Elk Trail east, north to Shasta Lake and back down Dry Creek.
  • All routes on the Old Oregon Trail in both directions between Bear Mountain North and Interstate 5.
  • All routes off Bear Mountain in both directions between Dry Creek and Old Oregon Trail.
  • All roads east of I-5, north of Old Oregon Trail north to Shasta Lake

The following areas are subject to evacuation orders:

  • All roads on the west side of Interstate 5, west to the railroad tracks and on the north side of Shasta Dam Boulevard north of the Old Oregon Trail.
  • All roads west of I-5 to Ashby between Pine Grove and Shasta Dam.
  • All roads west of I-5 to railroad tracks, south of Bass Dr to Old Oregon Trail.
  • All areas north of Hwy 299, east of I-5, to Old Oregon Trail, to Pine Grove Avenue
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More than 1,600 firefighters are on the scene, including several teams from the Bay Area.

Meanwhile, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint against the woman suspected of being responsible for the fire. Prosecutors said Alexandra Souverneva, 30, of Palo Alto, was seen near where the blaze started.

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“Alexandra Souverneva has been reported in the area by several civilians that she is acting strangely and that she is in the home area where the fire started,” District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett told a conference press release Friday. “After the fire started, she was contacted by Cal Fire coming out of the brush, where the fire had started, with a working lighter in her pocket.”

Souverneva was charged with arson and arson during the state of emergency. If found guilty, she faces up to nine years in prison on the charges.

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Prosecutors said additional charges were likely expected pending the outcome of the blaze. Souverneva is also suspected in other fires in Shasta County and other parts of California.

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