In the US state of California, trees in the Sequoia National Park are protected, including the largest tree in the world – the General Sherman sequoia – from the enormous fire that has raged for over a week, starting on Thursday 9 September. “The fire continues to rise in all directions,” warned park management on Friday, September 17. It reported that “all services and facilities in Sequoia National Park are closed, including roads, visitor centers, shelters, and campgrounds.”
Central California’s Sequoia National Park is threatened by a large fire connected to two smaller ones located close to each other. In the park, in part of the Giant Forest, there are some of the largest and oldest trees in the world, including the ones considered to be the largest – the General Sherman sequoia.
Firefighters wrap trees in fireproof aluminum blankets. Recently, in a fire near Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, houses protected in this way survived, while others were destroyed, writes The Guardian.
Sequoia National Park. A fire threatens the largest tree in the world
The General Sherman sequoia is 83 meters high and over nine meters in diameter with a trunk cross section at its base. It is estimated to be around 2,300-2700 years old. Sherman is one of approximately two thousand redwoods that grow in this California national park.
Over 350 firefighters, helicopters and fire-fighting planes take part in the action.
“This is a very important area for a lot of people, so we put a lot of effort into preserving this huge forest,” said National Park spokeswoman Rebecca Paterson.
The latest news from the park management
According to announcements posted on the park’s website on Friday afternoon Polish time, “active fires caused by the strong thunderstorm on Thursday 9 September continue to increase and may affect the infrastructure and resources of the Sequoia National Park.” It has been specified that both fires that presently pose a threat – Paradise Fire and Colony Fire – are situated “in steep and dangerous terrain” and the fight is underway to slow down their spread.
It was reported that some of the workers from the most endangered areas were evacuated, as well as people from the residential buildings adjacent to the park.
“The fire continues to rise in all directions,” warned park management. It reported that “all services and facilities in Sequoia National Park are closed, including roads, visitor centers, shelters and campgrounds.”
Since the beginning of summer, more than 7,400 fires have broken out in California, devastating an area of nearly 9,000 square kilometers. The Dixie fire, which, according to the BBC, was the second largest fire in California history, has now been largely contained.
PAP, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The Mercury News, e.g. gov
Main photo source: Facebook / Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks