Firefighters are Using Blankets to Protect California’s Iconic Sequoia Trees from Approaching Wildfires

california sequoia

 

California is home to both the world’s tallest and the world’s largest trees, and both of them happen to be part of the iconic sequoias.

But now, both trees could be under a potential threat from wildfires, as firefighters in California are scrambling to protect them by using some pretty inventive ways.

According to a report from EcoWatch, the firefighters are using blankets to protect these timeless natural landmarks.

Officials stated that the flames could reach the trees today.

Many resources are going into protecting them from possible damage or destruction, officials said.

“It’s a very significant area for many, many people, so a lot of special effort is going into protecting this grove,” Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks spokesperson Rebecca Paterson said to the Los Angeles Times.

One of the trees, General Sherman, has a volume of 52,508 cubic feet, making it the largest tree in the world.

The tree extends 275 feet into the air and has a circumference of 103 feet at its base.

It is between 2,300 and 27,000 years old according to BBC news.

general sherman tree

sher tree 2
Photos via Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Scenes of firefighters protecting the trees by wrapping them in flame-retardent aluminum has made national news headlines, and the pictures are a real sight to behold.

The wrap is used “like tinfoil basically” according to Mark Garrett, a spokesperson for the firefighters assigned to protecting these trees.

The fires were started by lightning strikes about a week ago and nearly 500 firefighters are currently working to contain them.

A community meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. ET by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to further discuss the matter.

This year, over 7,400 wildfires have burned more than 2.2 million acres, according to the AP.

Last year’s Castle Fire killed between 7,500 and 10,600 large sequoia trees.

“These trees are adaptive to fire, but not intense fire,” Steven Bekkerus, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Forest Service said to ABC 30.

“So we want to do everything we can to protect these trees as well as all these historic cabins that are on the National Park.”

 

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