Wildfires Shutter Sequoia National Park, Threaten Famous Ancient Trees

"Growing wildfires in the Sierra Nevada forced the closure of Sequoia National Park in California on Wednesday as blazes sparked by lightning strikes threaten the park’s groves of giant sequoias, home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world.

Sequoia National Park is home to Giant Forest, a grove of ancient giant sequoias, including the 275-foot General Sherman, the world’s largest tree by volume, according to the National Park Service. Though wildfires are part of the natural regeneration process for sequoias, experts say intensifying blazes fueled by climate change are instead destroying them.

The Colony and Paradise Fires advancing toward the park were “still growing and have the potential to affect Sequoia National Park infrastructure and resources,” NPS announced Wednesday. Mark Ruggiero, the fire information officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, said during a Tuesday news conference there was no “imminent” threat to Giant Forest — “but that is a potential.”"

Kim Bellware reports for the Washington Post September 15, 2021.


"Fires Burning In Sequoia National Park Threaten World's Largest Trees" (San Francisco Chronicle)

Source: Washington Post, 09/16/2021