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The world’s largest tree wrapped in a refractory blanket as California’s flames approach | California

As the flames approached California’s precious sequoia trees, firefighters took extraordinary steps to protect them and wrapped the huge base in fire-resistant blankets.

Glossy materials commonly used to protect structures to help extinguish flames are rarely applied to natural features, but crew members fighting fires in the KNP complex in Sequoia National Park. Said he was doing everything he could to protect the iconic tree.

“It really shows that Giant Forest’s iconic Monark Sequoia is a special priority for parks and incident management teams,” said firefighting spokesman Rebecca Patterson.

The KNP Complex fire consists of a flame in which two lightning bolts burn together. Park evacuation This week, part of the town of Three Rivers outside the front door remained evacuated on Thursday. Wildfires are one of the latest in long summer flames, burning about 9,195 square kilometers in California and destroying hundreds of homes.

By Friday morning, the KNP Complex fire had spread to over 11,300 acres and was within a mile of the famous Giant Forest. According to Patterson, General Sherman Tree was one of the wrapped Sequoia, along with the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings.

According to the National Park Service, General Sherman’s tree is the largest in the world in volume, at 1,487 cubic meters. It has a circumference of 84 meters in height and 31 meters above the ground.

Wrapping was applied only to the roots of tall trees that stretched hundreds of miles into the sky. “It can’t be placed at a height of 100 feet, etc., as it’s only applied by firefighters on the ground,” Patterson said. “The idea is to keep the ground from burning the trees that are closest to the ground and are most likely to burn.”

Firefighters wrap a fire-resistant blanket around the sign at the entrance to California’s historic Sequoia National Park. Photo: National Park Service / AFP / Getty Images

Aluminum wrapping can withstand intense heat for a short period of time. Federal officials say they have been using this material for several years throughout the western United States to protect sensitive structures from flames. Houses near Lake Tahoe, wrapped in protective material, survived, but other nearby houses were destroyed.

The fire of the colony, one of the two burning in Sequoia National Park, grew towards the 2,000 Sequoia orchards, the Giant Forest, but firefighters have so far fired the flames from the orchards. I was able to keep it away. Mr Patterson said ground conditions have helped firefighting operations and authorities want trees to be kept safe.

“Fortunately, fire behavior is fairly mild, especially today, so there aren’t many canopy fires or large, dramatic fires,” she said Friday morning. “It was pretty slow, retreating and creeping.”

Giant sequoias are adaptable to fire and can help them prosper by releasing seeds from the corn and creating vacant lots for the growth of young sequoias. However, the extraordinary intensity of fire caused by climate change can overwhelm trees. According to the National Park Service, it happened last year when a castle fire killed 7,500 to 10,600 large Sequoias.

Historical droughts and heat waves associated with climate change make it difficult to fight wildfires in the western United States. Scientists say climate change has made the region much warmer and drier, more extreme weather, and more frequent and destructive wildfires over the last three decades.

However, the 50-year history of using open burning (otherwise fires set to remove small trees and vegetation that cause wildfires) in the park’s sequoia grove mitigates the effects of the arrival of flames. It was hoped that this would help the giant tree survive.

Nearly 500 firefighters are fighting burning flames in rugged, rugged terrain that is difficult to access. More is going on. Authorities still hope to prevent the fire from entering the grove. Even if it does, the tree is now in a good position to survive the flames.

“This kind of fire behavior is often not a problem in sequoia groves,” says Patterson. “There are many optimistic reasons why a fire in some of these areas is not catastrophic.”

The world’s largest tree wrapped in a refractory blanket as California’s flames approach | California

Source link The world’s largest tree wrapped in a refractory blanket as California’s flames approach | California

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