A woman accused of arson for a wildfire in Northern California said she was trying to boil bear urine to drink before the fire started, authorities claim.
The unusual and unappetizing explanation about the events preceding the Fawn Fire in Shasta County emerged in court documents this week.
Alexandra Souverneva, 30, from Palo Alto, allegedly admitted that she was trying to relieve her thirst when she found a puddle that contained the animal bodily liquid. To purify it, she tried boiling what she collected, authorities said.
Souverneva reportedly said she was unable to start a fire and continued on her hike, but contacted authorities when she saw smoke, according to the court documents.
Souverneva faces nine years in federal prison if convicted of starting the Fawn Fire. She's been charged with arson with a special enhancement, because California is in a state of emergency due to wildfires dangers.
She has pleaded not guilty.
Cal Fire personnel said they found her emerging from the woods with a lighter in her pocket near the fire on Sept. 22. She seemed dehydrated and needed medical attention when they found her, officials said. She said she was hiking to Canada, authorities said.
Witnesses at a quarry had told authorities that they saw a woman acting erratically and trespassing.
The Fawn Fire had burned 8,595 acres and was 75% contained on Sept. 29, Cal Fire said.
Three people have been injured in the fire and 185 structures, including homes, have been destroyed.