Firefighters continue efforts to protect sequoia trees from wildfires that reach the edge of the Giant Forest in California’s Sequoia National Park.
The “Four Guards,” a group of trees that form a natural entrance to the forest, were successfully protected from the KNP Complex fire by clearing nearby vegetation and by wrapping the base of the tree with fire-resistant material, the fire service team said in a statement.
The KNP Complex fires started as two lightning-ignited fires that eventually coalesced and scorched more than 96 square kilometers of land in the heart of a sequoia forest area on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
“Windy Fire” has burned Peyrone and Red Hill forests, as well as parts of Long Meadow Forest along the trail of the “Trail of 100 Giants.”
Part of a giant sequoia tree along the road was confirmed to have caught fire, said Thanh Nguyen, a spokesman for the fire command.
Firefighters with hoses and water helicopters worked to limit damage to the forest’s giant sequoia trees, where other tree species also grow.
Sequoia trees have adapted to fires in their surroundings if the flame is of low intensity.
Meanwhile, the “Windy Fire” fire has scorched more than 101 square kilometers and has only about four percent been contained.
Authorities mandated evacuations from Sequoia National Park last week, and from nearby Kings Canyon on Sunday.
The historic drought made wildfires more difficult to contain and has scorched millions of trees in California alone. [lt/uh]