California wildfires threaten giant sequoias

Both fires were projected to advance in the direction of Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias including the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on 지구 by volume.

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The massive sequoias grow on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. The General Sherman Tree stands 275 피트 (83.8 미터) and is over 36 피트 (11 미터) in diameter at the base, 미국에 따르면. National Park Service.

There’s no imminent threat to Giant Forest but that is a potential,” said Mark Ruggiero, fire information officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

Ruggiero estimated that the closest flames were about a mile (1.6 킬로미터) from the grove. Sequoia headquarters personnel, 약 75 사람들, were being evacuated, 그는 말했다.

In this Sunday, 씨족. 12, 2021 photo released by the KNP Complex Fire Incident Command, smoke plumes rise from the Paradise Fire in Sequoia National Park, 칼리프. In the southern Sierra Nevada, two fires ignited by lightning are burning in Sequoia National Park.

In this Sunday, 씨족. 12, 2021 photo released by the KNP Complex Fire Incident Command, smoke plumes rise from the Paradise Fire in Sequoia National Park, 칼리프. In the southern Sierra Nevada, two fires ignited by lightning are burning in Sequoia National Park. (KNP Complex Fire Incident Command via AP)

The Colony and Paradise fires, named for locations where they started, were ignited by lightning last week and were being battled collectively under the name of the KNP Complex. Their combined sizes grew to more than 4.7 square miles (12 square kilometers).

모두 공원 facilities were already closed and wilderness trailhead permits had been canceled. The Silver City retreat and the summer cabins of Cabin Cove were under evacuation orders. Part of the community of Three Rivers outside the park entrance was under an evacuation warning.

Kings Canyon National Park, to the north of Sequoia, remained open.

The potential threat to the giant sequoias came just a year after a disastrous complex of fires in the same region.

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Part of the wildfire complex known as the Castle Fire destroyed 10% of the population of sequoias, Ruggiero said.

Sequoias rely on fire for such processes as releasing seeds from cones and making clearings in the forest that allow seedlings to grow. The record of burns in the rings of trees thousands of years old demonstrates their relationship to fire.

그러나 changing climate has intensified forest fires and their impact on sequoias.

Sequoia trees are a fire-adaptive tree,” Ruggiero said. “It’s important to have fire to have sequoias thrive, but when we get such intense fires even the sequoias can’t stand up to them.

Giant sequoias are closely related to the towering, slender redwoods that grow along the Northern California coast and have the same relationship with fire.

파일 - 이번 9 월. 12, 2015, 파일 사진, fire fighters walk near a giant Sequoia at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, 칼리프. Nearby Sequoia National Park was shut down and its namesake gigantic trees were under potential threat Tuesday, 씨족. 14, 2021, as forest fires burned in steep and dangerous terrain in California's Sierra Nevada. The Colony and Paradise fires were ignited by lightning last week and were being battled collectively as the KNP Complex. Kings Canyon National Park, to the north of Sequoia, remained open.

파일 – 이번 9 월. 12, 2015, 파일 사진, fire fighters walk near a giant Sequoia at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, 칼리프. Nearby Sequoia National Park was shut down and its namesake gigantic trees were under potential threat Tuesday, 씨족. 14, 2021, as forest fires burned in steep and dangerous terrain in California’s Sierra Nevada. The Colony and Paradise fires were ignited by lightning last week and were being battled collectively as the KNP Complex. Kings Canyon National Park, to the north of Sequoia, remained open. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

That interaction was tested last year when a huge fire tore through almost all of Big Basin Redwoods State Park on the coast between 샌프란시스코 and Monterey Bay.

A week after the fire, an Associated Press reporter and photographer hiked the renowned Redwood Trail and confirmed that most of the ancient redwoods, 약 2,000 살이에요, had survived. Months later there were signs of new growth.

California has had more than 7,400 wildfires so far this year, scorching more than 3,500 square miles (9,065 square kilometers).

California’s second-largest fire on record, the Dixie Fire, remained 75% contained after burning 1,500 square miles in the northern Sierra and southern Cascades region. Near Lake Tahoe, containment of the 342-square-mile (885-square- kilometer) Caldor Fire increased to 68%.

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