Blazes threaten California giant sequoias
Crews wrapped the world’s largest tree, General Sherman, and several other sequoias in fire-resistant aluminum blankets to protect them from two fires in nearby Sequoia National Park. The material can withstand intense heat for short periods of time and saved some homes in Lake Tahoe, on the California-Nevada border. A shift in the weather led to explosive growth of the fires. Flames reached the westernmost tip of the Giant Forest, where it scorched a grouping of sequoias known as the “Four Guardsmen” that mark the entrance to the grove of 2,000 sequoias. Firefighters had to flee for safety and did not know Saturday how badly the fire damaged the giant trees.
How bad are the fires? The two fires known as the KNP Complex collectively burned 21,777 acres as of Sunday. More than 480 firefighters were burning vegetation and anything else that could fuel the fires. In Northern California, the Dixie Fire continued to blaze but was 90 percent contained.
Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings on what the experts say about climate change and wildfires.
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