They are working hard to save them…..
Thousands of firefighters are working tirelessly to quell two major blazes in Northern California wildlands that threaten to destroy beloved giant sequoia trees, some of the oldest living things on earth.
The so-called Rough Fire was started by a lightning strike on July 31 in the Kings Canyon National Park, east of the San Joaquin Valley, and spread to neighboring Sequoia National Park. The fire grew this week owing to high temperatures and wind patterns.
Firefighters are working hard to protect Grant Grove, a major park attraction that houses the world’s third-largest tree, known as General Grant. Workers have taken the extraordinary measure of digging bulldozer lines to clear brush around the grove of thousand-year-old trees and installing a sprinkler system, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Giant sequoias’ thick bark and tendency to drop their lower branches make them naturally flame resistant, and many contain scars from past fires. But the buildup of fuel resulting from a 100-year national policy of fire suppression makes many wildfires burn hotter and more intensely, putting even sequoias, redwoods, and ponderosa pines at risk. Fire officials added that California’s drought is stressing them.
“Our level of confidence in holding the fire is…moderate,” Jim Schwarber, a spokesman for the fire’s incident management team, told the Times. With continued high temperatures and low humidity on Saturday, officials note that today could bring a potential increase in fire activity.
Rough Fire public information officer Paul Garnier told TakePart on Saturday that the fire was currently active over 128,000 acres of land, 29 percent contained, with morning maps showing that the fire was “just outside the perimeter of the grove.”