California workers wrap trees in fireproof blankets

California workers wrap trees in fireproof blankets

This photo, provided by the Southern Area Blue Incident Management Team on Thursday, September 17, 2021, shows the giant sequoia known as the General Sherman Tree, with its base wrapped in a fire retardant blanket to protect it from entryways. the scorching heat of forest fires. In the Sequoia National Forest in California.

AP. Via the blue incident management team in the southern region

California firefighters wrap fire-retardant aluminum blankets around the bases of several giant trees in Sequoia National Park, including the world’s largest 275-foot General Sherman, to protect them from the rapidly deteriorating KNP complex fire.

The park was closed earlier this week when fires, triggered by lightning, began to burn in steep canyons. Several major fires have hit the western United States this season, including the Dixie Fire, the second largest in California, and scientists and firefighters say climate change is extending the fire season and reducing those fires compared to in previous decades. Helps warm up faster.

“Crews prepare the giant forest before this area is set ablaze, removing fuel and wrapping the structure over some of the iconic monarch redwoods that characterize Sequoia National Park’s most famous area,” the National Park Service said. in a press release. “The fire continues to grow in all directions. “

The crew also used fire retardant wrap to cover the Ash Mountain Entrance, the park entrance sign that invites travelers to Sequoia National and is carved from Sequoia wood blocks.

Firefighters cover a sign in Sequoia National Park, California, United States, in this photo obtained by Reuters on September 17, 2021.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National | via Reuters

The crews are also preparing to carry out burn-out operations in areas at risk. Scheduled burns involve lighting fires on the ground that reduce the amount of fuel available near the area to protect the land from larger, less controlled fires.

According to the federal incident information system Inciweb, the KNP complex had burned 11,365 acres and was zero percent contained on Friday. Since June, there have been at least 28 fires in California and 129 in other western states, according to Inciweb data.

While California’s endangered giant tree is adapted to withstand wildfires, redwood populations are threatened by record heat and drought.

Last year, the Castle fires burned down Sequoia National Park and destroyed at least a tenth of the world’s redwoods, according to a draft report by scientists from the National Park Service.

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