United States: a fire threatens the giant sequoias of Yosemite Park

Sylvie Claire / July 11, 2022

A forest fire out of control for three days in the park of Yosemite, California (western United States), now threatens its giant sequoias, announced Sunday the natural park.
 
The fire, which has reached Mariposa Grove (Butterfly Grove), the most popular area of the park because it contains hundreds of redwoods among the largest in the world, currently covers 644 hectares and nothing stops it, said the park, noting that 360 firefighters were mobilized. One of the crews is preparing the Grizzly Giant” – the park’s most famous and spectacular giant sequoia – for the approaching flames by constantly watering it. At 209 feet (64 m) tall, it is the second tallest in Yosemite, says the park, which is broadcasting the measures taken to protect it on social media. Giant sequoias are among the most fire-resistant trees in the world, which is how they have survived for thousands of years. But extreme drought and wildfires that now last much longer can damage them. 
 
As a result, 10,000 of them – about 14% of the world’s total number of redwoods – perished in 2020 in a major fire. Given the burning conditions and the wildfires we’re talking about, we expect to have another four, five or six very tough months, warned one of California’s fire officials, Brian Fennessy, in June. This area of Yosemite Park has been largely redeveloped and had reopened in 2018.

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