Firefighters in the United States are optimistic about the world’s largest tree.
Wildfires are devouring the dry land, and firefighters are struggling to save the world’s largest tree. The United States expressed optimism on Friday that it could be rescued.
As California’s deadly fire season worsens because to man-made climate change, flames are getting closer to the majestic General Sherman and other enormous sequoias.
“We have hundreds of firemen there giving it their best, offering additional care,” Mark Garrett, communications officer for the region’s fire department, said of the Sequoia National Park operation to AFP.
The growing Paradise and Colony fires, which were caused by lightning a week ago and have burnt 4,600 hectares (11,400 acres) of forest, are being fought by crews.
The fires are endangering Giant Forest, a grove of 2,000 sequoias that contains five of the world’s tallest trees, some of which are over 3,000 years old.
The General Sherman is the tallest of them all, standing at 83 meters (275 ft).
General Sherman was wrapped in fire-resistant blankets — aluminum foil meant to protect its massive trunk from the brunt of the flames – on Thursday.
Managers felt they had the upper hand by Friday, thanks to underbrush clearing and controlled burns that starved the fire of fuel.
“I think the terrain here is the most difficult part,” Garrett added.
However, “we haven’t observed any explosive fire behavior; it actually slowed down and allowed us to get ahead of it.”
A total of 600 people are involved in the battle.
“We have people protecting structures and prepping everything up in the Giant Forest.
“They’ve been prescribed burning for the past 25 or 30 years, so they’re really prepared.”
During this year’s catastrophic fire season, millions of acres of California’s woods were burnt.
According to scientists, the area is becoming increasingly vulnerable to larger and more deadly wildfires as a result of global warming fueled by unrestrained usage of fossil fuels.
The Giant Forest’s massive trees are a significant tourist magnet, attracting tourists from all over the world to marvel at their towering height and incredible girth.
While the gigantic sequoias are not the tallest trees (California redwoods can reach heights of more than 300 feet), they are the largest in terms of volume.
Smaller fires are less likely to destroy sequoias, which are protected by thick bark and have branches that are often barely 100 feet above the ground.
However, they are endangered by the larger, hotter blazes that are ravaging the western United States because they rise higher up the trunks and into the canopy.