A fire in California that threatens some of the oldest living organisms on Earth spread over the weekend, dangerously approaching the iconic Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park with firefighters trying to protect the trees.
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The National Park Service said Monday that the fire at the KNP Complex has burned nearly 24.000 acres - a huge leap since last Wednesday, when the fire burned about 5.000 acres. The steep terrain and dangerous conditions mean that the flame burns completely out of control. According to Inciweb, low humidity levels allowed the fire to remain "active". Although "cooler and wetter conditions" have developed in the area on Monday, the cold front has also brought stronger winds, which means the fire could spread further.
Fire at KNP Complex crosses western part of Sequoia National Park and threatens park edges Giant Forest, which houses 8.000 sequoia trees. This includes General Sherman, 2.300 years old, one of the oldest and largest living organisms in the world, 103 feet (31 meters around) long and 275 feet (84 meters) high. The European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service on Monday released a satellite image showing the extent of the fire on Saturday. The pictures show how close the edge of the fire is to the Giant Forest.
Last week, park staff tried to protect General Sherman and other sequoias by wrapping the trees in a special layer of foil that can help repel the fire. The NPS said the fires reached the edge of the Giant Forest on Friday. Some firefighters working to wrap the trees in foil and clear debris from their bases had to leave because the fire was threateningly approaching, a park spokesman told the AP. But he was able to return and continue their efforts to control the unruly flames.
Source of information: gizmodo.com