Thousands Evacuate Fawn Fire

California's Fawn fire burns in Shasta County

Near Redding, California in Shasta County, the Fawn fire forces four thousand residents to evacuate, with 30,000 residents affected. The fire was 50% contained as of Monday afternoon. Law enforcement has now charged a 30-year-old woman named Anna Souverneva with arson, after quarry workers saw her trespassing near the area where the fire began with a lighter in her pocket.

Why this Matters

This is the latest of many devastating fires in California this summer, leaving firefighters exhausted. As a result of climate change, a worsening drought, and extreme heat, six of the seven largest fires in California's history have occurred since last August. So far in 2021, 2.4 million acres have burned and more than 3,200 buildings have been destroyed.

Shasta County Burns

As a result of the Fawn fire, 131 buildings have been destroyed, but hundreds more have been threatened by the blaze. Fourteen arson arrests have been made in Shasta County this year, and 103 have been made in California as a whole. According to authorities, it's possible Souverneva may have also set other fires in Shasta County.

Climate-change deniers have typically used arson as a way of dismissing or diminishing the role of global warming in the explosion of destructive forest fires across the world. Only 7% of blazes in California are the result of arson; moreover, climate change has worsened the impact of human-caused fires. For example, the deadly El Dorado fire in California last year that was allegedly sparked by a gender reveal party gone wrong, burned over 22,000 acres.

Some good news however: Incoming rain could help firefighters contain this blaze much more quickly.