Giant Sequoias In Yosemite Threatened By Wildfire

Giant Sequoias In Yosemite Threatened By Wildfire

More than 1,000 firefighters are battling a fast-spreading wildfire in Yosemite National Park in California that is threatening giant sequoia trees, which are thousands of years old. 

The Washburn Fire has burned more than 4,375 acres with 23% containment as of Thursday morning and has spread into the Sierra National Forest. 

#WashburnFire Daily Update for July 14, 2022. Currently 4,375 acres, 23% contained with 1045 firefighters assigned to the fire. @YosemiteNPS @Sierra_NF

— Yosemite Fire and Aviation Management (@YosemiteFire) July 14, 2022

Washburn Fire Map

Fire crews are battling the blaze threatening the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. 

“The more than 500 mature sequoias of the Mariposa Grove are adjacent to these fuels and have so far avoided serious damage from the Washburn Fire … most of these trees are over 2000 years old,” fire officials wrote in an update.

On Thursday, temperatures in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains are hot and dry, around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with low humidity in the 20% to 30% range. These conditions can fuel the flames and may indicate the fire has more to spread. 

“A persistent weather pattern for the next several days will support active-to-very active fire behavior in heavy dead and down fuels.

“Continued warming and drying over the next several days will bring additional fire growth and smoke production where control lines have yet to be constructed,” fire officials wrote.

Garrett Dickman, a forest ecologist with Yosemite National Park, who is helping to protect the giant sequoias that tower more than 200 feet tall, told NYTimes, “the past couple years have been a real wake-up … never thought the giant sequoias would really burn.” 

Former Abraham Lincoln first protected California’s giant sequoias in 1864 to benefit future generations. 

In 1905, former President Theodore Roosevelt established several other national parks, monuments, and forests and established the US Forest Service. Roosevelt described the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as “a temple grander than any human architect could by any possibility build.”

Tyler Durden
Thu, 07/14/2022 – 23:40

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