Shaman ‘starts wildfires after trying to burn bear urine so she could drink it’

A young woman and self-styled "shaman" was charged with causing a devastating wildfire which tore through ten-thousand acres of California forest.

Alexandra Souverneva, 30, is accused of triggering a blaze which destroyed 41 homes, threatened the lives of 2,000 locals and tore through 10,000 acres of wildlife, MailOnline reported.

That's all because she was trying to burn bear urine so she could drink it, prosecutors said.

The former forestry student and Caltech graduate from Palo Alto, northern California could face up to nine years in jail if convicted.

She pleaded not guilty.

Souverneva claims she got thirsty while out hiking and found a puddle of bear urine in a creek.

Then she filtered it and tried to boil the water, causing the fire, and continued walking.

County sheriff Michael L. Johnson said: "It is difficult to grasp when disaster like this is, apparently, not a natural disaster.

"But we have a suspect."

The former tutor and yoga teacher describes herself on LinkedIn as a "shaman" – a guru who has connections to good and evil spirits.

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California Firefighters said three firemen were injured trying to put out the giant blaze.

The wildfire scorched more than 13 sq miles of timber on steep and rugged terrain.

It was helped by the hot, dry and windy conditions.

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Just 35% of its immense scale was contained by firefighters.

District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridgett said Souverneva is also suspected of causing numerous other fires in her county and elsewhere.

Ms Bridgett also told a press conference on Friday: “She was right there, at very close proximity to where the fire started.

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"[She was] where no other people were at.

“People are having to flee the area very quickly.

“There are a lot of community members that are still evacuating.”

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