A Palo Alto woman who is accused of starting the devastating Fawn Fire in September has been was ordered to a psychiatric hospital until she is deemed fit to stand trial, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office said on Thursday.
Alexandra Souverneva, 30, appeared in Shasta County Superior Court on Dec. 9. In court, the California Conditional Release Program submitted a report recommending that she be submitted to the custody of the Department of State Hospitals and placed in a locked facility until she is competent.
Judge Barbara Zuniga approved the order and set a proceeding for Jan. 11 to confirm transport to a facility for competency training.
"Competency training is mental health treatment by medical professionals to assist a defendant to gain or regain the mental capacity to assist in their defense, so that they are competent to stand trial," the DA's office stated.
The Sept. 22 fire burned thousands of acres in a deep, remote canyon. Employees in the area reported seeing a woman trespassing on the property and "acting irrationally," according to a Cal Fire statement.
Later that evening, Souverneva approached firefighters after walking out of the brush in the fire line and said she was dehydrated and needed medical treatment, according to Cal Fire.
Souverneva graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2009.