Thu. May 19th, 2022

On October 4, the high-intensity fire pushed north and caused damage to Redwood Canyon, the National Park Service told CNN in a statement. The fire now covers over 85,000 acres.

At the moment, the exact number of trees burned is unknown because the fire is mostly unlimited, but the NPS said it has been a significant number – in the hundreds.

KNP Complex Fire was sparked by lightning in September and is the latest in a series of wildfires emptying the embarrassed trees, among the largest in the world. The Windy Fire, which also burns in Sequoia National Park, has killed at least 29 giant sequoias, and last year the castle fire destroyed between 7,500 and 10,600 of the trees, representing about 10-14% of the world’s sequoia population.

Last month, crews packed the base of General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree, in aluminum-based refractory, according to Sequoia and Kings National Parks, to keep it safe from the flames.

The tree is 275 feet high and over 36 feet in diameter at the base, making it taller than the Statue of Liberty from the base to the torch.

The service is planning a full assessment of the damage to the trees when the fire is “cold”, sometime in 2022.

Currently, 2,069 employees are working to extinguish the flames, NPS said, and in more rugged, inaccessible terrain, crews are dropping fire-retardant gel by helicopter on the groves, but the smoke has made this difficult to do.

Four firefighters were injured Thursday and flown to the hospital after being hit by a falling tree, according to fire officials. One works for CalFire, while the other three are members of the California Conservation Corps, the release states.

They were released from the hospital on Friday.

Windy Fire has destroyed more than two dozen giant sequoia trees - and that's just an early assessment

Although the fire is intense, Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, explained that fire is not the enemy of the giant sequoias, pointing out that these trees have lived through many fires and generally respond well to fires of moderate intensity.

Just a few months after the castle fire last year, a blanket of baby giant sequoias shot up from the ground where the devastating fire had originated.

And although giant sequoias adapt to periodic fire, the bark usually protects the trees from significant damage and can insulate them from a fiery heat, the NPS said. Over time, however, it can be difficult for the trees to heal after centuries of fire scars.

CNN’s Alta Spells and Sarah Moon contributed to this report.


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