Monday, September 27, 2021

California Grove of Giant Sequoias Threatened by Wildfire

A small but intense wildfire in Sequoia National Park, one of California’s most famous groves, is at risk of burning, officials said Wednesday.

The nearly 7,000-acre KNP Fire Complex is burning about a mile from the Giant Forest, which is home to the largest tree on Earth by volume, said Rebecca Paterson, a public information officer for the National Park Service at Three Rivers. called General Sherman. Who has a fire burning near him.

Patterson said about 115 employees, including residents of the eastern side of the city, had been evacuated from the park. The park was closed on Tuesday after the fire started threatening the Giant Forest, which is one of about 30 such groves and the most visited, she said.

FILE – A tourist stands next to the General Sherman giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park in California on March 9, 2014.

The Federal Inciweb Fire Information System said Wednesday that the fire that made up the complex grew significantly with zero control on Tuesday. The compound, made up of two flames, burning near each other, was triggered by lightning strikes on September 10. It is burning in steep valleys fueled by dry wood and chaparral.

The InciWeb system said dry conditions and winds of up to 40 kph (25 mph) could help the fire spread in the coming days.

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Patterson said the air quality in the area is poor and warned that parts of the Three Rivers where people have not been ordered to go have been warned to be ready to evacuate.

He said the National Park Service is conducting scheduled burns in the area, which officials hope will reduce the impact on the giant sequoias if the complex reaches them.

Sequoias depend on fire as part of their life cycle, but some large-scale, intense fires caused by climate change can do more damage than previously thought.

“Even if the fire reaches the giant forest, it doesn’t mean it will be devastating once it gets there,” Paterson said.

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According to the city’s website, the Three Rivers Ash Mountain is near the Main Entrance to Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, which is roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to the US Census Bureau, it is home to approximately 2,400 people.

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California Grove of Giant Sequoias Threatened by Wildfire
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