(TheRedWire.com) – In California, Sequoia National Park is home to the largest and oldest trees in the world. Among them is the tallest tree, known as the General Sherman. The ancient 2,000-year-old tree stands 275 feet tall and is one of the Golden State’s biggest park attractions. Unfortunately, on Sunday, September 19, a lightning strike lit a massive fire in the 21,777-acre park. To protect General Sherman, firefighters turned on sprinklers around it to keep the ground moist and wrapped it in a blanket.
Firefighters battling a major wildfire in Sequoia National Park had some good news to report: General Sherman — the giant sequoia and one of the largest living trees in the world — is still standing.https://t.co/XHGEmeZFZH
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) September 20, 2021
Firefighters sheathed General Sherman’s base in a shroud made from an aluminum-foil fabric. Emergency workers typically use the technology to protect buildings from wildfires. However, the wrap protects the tree’s foot-thick bark and helps it survive a massive fire by preventing embers from getting into the tree through old fire scars. Fire scars are a serious threat as they allow new fires to penetrate the hard exterior of the tree and burn it from the inside out. Over the weekend, the blankets successfully protected several other Sequoias.
In addition to the foil blanket, firefighters also removed decaying organic matter on the forest floor away from the tree. Duff, the technical name for the forest detritus, can catch on fire and smolder for extended periods at the base of the ancient trees. Forest officials say the trees are most in danger from smoldering duff because it could cook the roots.
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