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California wildfire burns giant sequoia and threatens ancient forests: NPR

A Sequoia tree stands in Lost Grove along the Generals Highway after a KNP complex fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday in Sequoia National Park, California.

Noah Burger / AP


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Noah Burger / AP

A Sequoia tree stands in Lost Grove along the Generals Highway after a KNP complex fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday in Sequoia National Park, California.

Noah Burger / AP

Three Rivers, CA — Two lightning-sparkling wildfires meet in California and run to the edge of an ancient sequoia grove. Firefighters were momentarily driven away when they tried to protect the tallest tree in the world by wrapping its roots in protective foil.

According to the National Park Service, changes in weather caused a fire in Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to explode on Friday, reaching the westernmost tip of the Giant Forest and burning a group of known Sequoia. As “4 guards” indicating the entrance to the 2,000 Sequoia orchards.

Firefighters wrapped the roots of General Sherman’s tree, along with other trees in the giant forest, in a type of aluminum that could withstand high heat. It wasn’t immediately clear how the four guards who received the same treatment carried it, said Katie Hooper, a fire spokeswoman.

According to the National Park Service, General Sherman’s tree is the largest in the world in volume at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters). It rises 275 feet (84 meters) high and has a circumference of 103 feet (31 meters) above the ground.

The fire, also known as the KNP Complex, blackened 28 square miles (72 square kilometers) of forest area. According to Hooper, fire activity increased on Friday afternoon when the winds strengthened, blocking air and raising low-pressure smoke, which had restricted the spread of recent fires.

Firefighters, who wrapped the roots of sequoia in foil and wiped leaves and needles from the floor around the trees, had to escape the danger, Hooper said. According to Hooper, they returned on Saturday to continue working, setting off a strategic fire along the Generals Highway and protecting the Giant Forest Grove.

The fire forced the park to evacuate this week, and part of the Three Rivers, a hilly community of about 2,500 people outside the park’s front door. The crew has smashed the line between the fire and the community.

Until Sunday, the National Meteorological Service issued a fire alarm warning that gusts and low humidity could create conditions for the rapid spread of wildfires.

But fire officials didn’t expect growth from the explosive winds that turned Sierra Nevada’s flames into hundreds of home-eating monsters in recent months.

Giant sequoias are adaptable to fire and can help them prosper by releasing seeds from the cones and creating clearings that allow young sequoias to grow. However, the extraordinary intensity of fire caused by climate change can overwhelm trees.

“If a fire burns in a tree, it will be deadly,” said John Wallace, chief of operations at the KNP Complex.

The fire is already burning in several orchards, including trees 200 feet (61 meters) high and 2,000 years old.

In the south, Windifier grows to 19 square miles (50 square kilometers) at the Tree River Indian Reservation and Giant Sequoia National Monument, where it burns on Sequoia’s Peylon Grove, threatening others.

The fire also reached Long Meadow Grove, and 20 years ago, then President Clinton signed a declaration to establish the Trail of 100 Giant Sequoia as a national monument.

Fire authorities have not yet identified how much damage was done to orchards in remote and difficult-to-reach areas. They said the crew was “doing everything they could” to protect the trail by removing needles, leaves and other fuel from around the roots of the tree.

Last year, Castlefire killed an estimated 7,500 to 10,600 large sequoias, according to the National Park Service. This was an estimated 10% to 14% of all Sequoia in the world.

Today’s fires are eaten through crater-dried lumber, grass and brushes.

Far north of Northern California, early rain was a welcome sign for firefighters fighting a flock of wildfires ignited by lightning in the Klamath National Forest in late July. Fire officials say they will not extinguish nearly 300 square miles (772 square kilometers) of flames, but will help the crew reach their goals.

Light rain is expected on weekends in the northern coastal areas of San Francisco. However, forecasters say the conditions could dry out by early next week, prompting fire weather warnings in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties that could lead to power outages.

historic Drought It’s tied to climate change, making it harder to fight wildfires. It killed millions of trees in California alone. Scientists say climate change will continue to make the west much warmer, drier, more extreme weather, and more frequent and destructive wildfires in the last three decades.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire, more than 7,000 wildfires in California this year damaged or destroyed more than 3,000 homes and other buildings and burned far more than 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers) of land. bottom.

California wildfire burns giant sequoia and threatens ancient forests: NPR

Source link California wildfire burns giant sequoia and threatens ancient forests: NPR

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