Firefighters are Covering World’s Largest Trees with Fire-Resistant Blanket to Protect Them From Flames

Nature

Firefighters wrap aluminum blankets all over ancient trees, including the 275-foot Earth’s biggest tree by volume – General Sherman, as fires engulf world-famous Sequoia National Park in California.

Sequoia National Park historic park entrance sign wrapped in fire resistant foil

(Photo : Getty Images)

Wildfire in Sequoia National Park 

Firefighters have been making a lot of effort to protect California’s prominent groves of giant sequoias as numerous fires blaze through the rough Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The base of the world’s largest tree, General Sherman which is about 275 feet tall and over 36 feet wide, and other massive trees in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park have been wrapped with foil blankets that will help protect the trees as the KNP Complex fires burn uncontrollably closer in recent days.

The famous historic wooden entrance sign at the park dating to 1935 is also wrapped in fire-resistant blankets. Firefighters have been making use of this material for some years to save different structures from fires, as per California News Times.

During Lake Tahoe’s recent fire, some houses covered with the same material weren’t affected by the flames.

Also Read: Giant Sequoias Under Pressure from Climate Change

Fire-resistant Blanket 

The material is almost the same as tin foil seen in kitchens but is fashioned after shelters that look like a tent and wildland firefighters use it as a final resort for their protection when trapped by flames. The wraps aren’t usually used since they’re expensive and hard to install, as per KoloTV.

A public information officer for the KNP Complex named Steven Bekkerus told Fresno ABC station KFSN: “These trees are adaptive to fire, but not intense fire, so we want to do everything that we can to protect these trees as well as all these historic cabins that are on the national park.” 

Sequoia National Park is closed and resident workers have been relocated together with a part of the community of Three Rivers outside of the entrance of the park.

The National Park Service said: “We have reached a tipping point – lack of frequent fire for the past century in most groves, combined with the impacts of a warming climate, have made some wildfires much more deadly for sequoias.”

Wildfire

(Photo : Getty Images)

Giant Sequoias

As per the NPS website, the giant sequoias, which develop along Sierra Nevada’s west slope can reach up to 3,400 years.

Giant Forest harbors over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the tree called General Sherman. It’s well-known for being the Earth’s largest tree by volume, it is about 83 m (275 feet) tall and over 11 m (36 feet) in diameter at the base.  

The enormous tree is a well-known site for visitors who likes to take photograph of the massive and old trees, and on its Giant Forest site, the NPS describes it as a “must-see”.

Firefighters successfully protected sequoias grouping close to the entranceway of the park, referred to as the Four Guardsmen from the KNP Complex fire, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

No one knows if other popular sequoias, like General Sherman, have been touched by the active fires.

Related Article: Unfavorable Weather Worsens Threat that California Wildfires Pose to Giant Sequoia Trees

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