Hundreds of firefighters were battling to protect several groves of giant sequoias in California, warning the enormous ancient trees were at risk from out-of-control blazes.

A number of separate fires were converging on the California woodland that is home to the huge trees, highlighting the terrifying power of wildfires to consume everything in their path.

Incident commanders said the Windy Fire, which has already charred 25,000 acres has burned into the remote Peyrone Sequoia Grove and the Red Hill Grove.

The giant sequoia known as the General Sherman Tree with its base wrapped in a fire-resistant blanket to protect it from the intense heat of approaching wildfires at Sequoia National Forest in California

The giant sequoia known as the General Sherman Tree with its base wrapped in a fire-resistant blanket to protect it from the intense heat of approaching wildfires at Sequoia National Forest in California

Firefighters apply fire-resistant structural wrap around giant sequoias threatened by the KNP Complex Fire within the Sequoia National Forest near Three Rivers, California

Firefighters apply fire-resistant structural wrap around giant sequoias threatened by the KNP Complex Fire within the Sequoia National Forest near Three Rivers, California

Firefighters wrapped the base of the General Sherman Tree, along with other trees in the Giant Forest, in a type of aluminum that can withstand high heat

Firefighters wrapped the base of the General Sherman Tree, along with other trees in the Giant Forest, in a type of aluminum that can withstand high heat

The firefighters used planks of wood in order to drag the aluminum wrap above the tree's base

The firefighters used planks of wood in order to drag the aluminum wrap above the tree’s base

48172049 10011249 image a 89 1632189965695

Firefighters posing next to The General Sherman Tree after wrapping it in fire-resistant structural wrap

Firefighters posing next to The General Sherman Tree after wrapping it in fire-resistant structural wrap

Smoke rises around sequoia trees, the bases of which have been wrapped with protective structural wrap, in the "Four Guardsmen" area of the Giant Forest

Smoke rises around sequoia trees, the bases of which have been wrapped with protective structural wrap, in the ‘Four Guardsmen’ area of the Giant Forest

Firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguish a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, California

Firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguish a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, California

Flames lick up a sequoia tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Flames lick up a sequoia tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Flames scorched at least two sequoia trees as firefighters worked to defend the grove

Flames scorched at least two sequoia trees as firefighters worked to defend the grove

Flames lick up a sequoia tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Flames lick up a sequoia tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away

Firefighters wrap the historic Sequoia National Forest entrance sign with fire-proof blankets

Firefighters wrap the historic Sequoia National Forest entrance sign with fire-proof blankets

‘We don´t know that those are destroyed,’ Windy fire incident spokeswoman Amanda Munsey said, according to the Los Angeles Times. ‘But the fire has completely surrounded those two groves.’

In nearby Long Meadow Grove, the blaze had spread to the vulnerable top of at least one of the trees.

‘It was running toward multiple trees and firefighters were able to get it out, but it did get into the crown of one of the sequoias.’

Wildfires that spread to the tops of trees — especially very tall trees — can move quickly through the forest, as the tops of the trees explode, showering embers over a large area below them.

A firefighter mops up hot spots in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest on Monday

A firefighter mops up hot spots in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest on Monday

The windy fire burns along a ridge in Sequoia National Forest, California, on Monday

The windy fire burns along a ridge in Sequoia National Forest, California, on Monday

Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest on Sunday

Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest on Sunday

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighter Aidan Hart battles the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighter Aidan Hart battles the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

A firefighter battles the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants

A firefighter battles the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants

Line safety director Joe Labak marks a falling branch hazard in the Trail of 100 Giants. Labak said the sequoia at center sustained fire damage when the fire spotted into its crown

Line safety director Joe Labak marks a falling branch hazard in the Trail of 100 Giants. Labak said the sequoia at center sustained fire damage when the fire spotted into its crown

Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest

Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire

Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Members of the media look at sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Members of the media look at sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns

Mark Garrett, a fire information officer, examines a sequoia tree during a media tour of Lost Grove

Mark Garrett, a fire information officer, examines a sequoia tree during a media tour of Lost Grove

A fire engine drives past sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns nearby

A fire engine drives past sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns nearby

Further north, the KNP Complex fire continued to threaten the renowned Giant Forest, home to General Sherman, the world’s biggest tree by volume, and standing at 275 feet.

General Sherman, which is estimated by the National Parks Service to be 2,200 years old, was wrapped in fireproof foil blankets last week.

Incident commanders said they believed they could protect the tree from the 24,000-acre blaze, which was sparked by lightning just over a week ago

They point to meticulous forest management over the last few decades, including prescribed burns that deplete available fuels, and slow the progress of fires.

California and other parts of the western United States are laboring under a years-long drought that has left swathes of the region’s magnificent forests tinder dry.

Members of the media walk among sequoia trees in Lost Grove

Members of the media walk among sequoia trees in Lost Grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest. Flames scorched at least two sequoia trees as firefighters worked to defend the grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest. Flames scorched at least two sequoia trees as firefighters worked to defend the grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest

Fire-resistant wrap covers a bridge as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants

Fire-resistant wrap covers a bridge as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters discuss tactics while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest

Firefighters discuss tactics while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest

Scientists say human activity, including the unchecked burning of fossil fuels, is warming the planet and changing weather patterns, making wildfires hotter, more intense and more destructive.

The giant sequoias are the world’s largest trees by volume. Their relatives, the California redwoods, can grow taller — well over 100 meters — but are not as wide.

Both kinds of tree are adapted to fires, with thick bark that protects them from heat.

In their lifetimes, which are measured in thousands of years, they typically endure lots of fires, the heat from which helps their cones to open, allowing the seeds to disperse.

Smoke rises above trees as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest, California

Smoke rises above trees as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest, California

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove 

A firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguishes a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove

A firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguishes a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove

Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire

Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, California

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, California

But longer, hotter and more aggressive fires can damage them, sometimes irreparably, and California has recently seen multiple severe fire seasons in a row.

One fire last year killed up to 10,000 of the trees.

Rising temperatures and increased dryness due to changing rainfall patterns thanks to climate change create the ideal conditions for forest fires. 

The World Meteorological Organization said that the five-year period to 2019 was ‘unprecedented’ for fires, especially in Europe and North America.



Source link

Previous articleKhloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson step out with True amid reports he wants ‘to get her back’
Next articleEngland Women boss Sarina Wiegman expresses opposition to a biennial World Cup

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here