This weekend, California firefighters continue to fight wildfires that have crept up to a unique grove of ancient redwoods.
On Friday, in California, it was impossible to prevent the merger of two fires into one large one. The fire reached the western tip of the Giant Forest and spread to four redwoods, known as the Four Guardsmen, who stand by the road leading to a grove of two thousand redwoods. It is not yet clear how badly these four trees were damaged.
Firefighters wrapped the bases of giant trees in fireproof “blankets” made of fire-resistant aluminum, which is used in emergency shelters for firefighters and to protect wooden buildings.
One of the trees protected in this way is the famous sequoia “General Sherman” – the largest plant in the world by volume – 1487 cubic meters. The tree rises to 84 meters and has a circumference of 31 meters at ground level.
Giant sequoias, as experts explain, are well adapted to a small fire: it can even promote their reproduction, helping to open cones, from which seeds fall out and give life to young plants. But large fires caused by global climate change can undoubtedly destroy trees,” says John Wallace, head of the operational department of the natural complex.
According to the National Park Service, between 7,500 and 10,600 giant redwoods died due to fires last year. This is 10% – 14% of all redwoods in the world.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, more than 7,000 wildfires damaged or destroyed more than 3,000 homes and burned more than 7,770 square kilometers of land in 2021.