• The KNP complex fire is burning around California's Sequoia National Park.
  • Satellite images released by NASA show the fire nearing the famed Giant Forest, which holds the largest concentration of giant sequoias in the park.
  • Firefighters have responded by protecting some of the trees with fire-resistant blankets.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

California wildfires are encroaching on a world-famous grove of sequoia trees, satellite images show.

Images released by NASA on Friday show the KNP complex burning around Sequoia National Park and its famed Giant Forest, which holds the largest concentration of giant sequoias in the park.

NASA said the Paradise fire and Colony fire are also burning nearby.

A satellite image of the KNP Complex fire in California
NASA/Lauren Dauphin

As of Thursday, the KNP Complex fire was already making its way through the forest, while the Colony Fire was within a mile of the grove, fire officials told the Los Angeles Times.

Rebecca Paterson, a spokeswoman for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, told the LA times that some trees, including the famed General Sherman, considered the largest tree on Earth by volume, "are being prepped the same way that we would prep structures."

General Sherman.
General Sherman.


Park officials are rushing to protect General Sherman, believed to be the world's largest tree by volume, from oncoming California wildfires.

The tree measures 36 feet in diameter at its base and is 275 feet tall, giving it a total volume if 52,508 cubic feet, per the NPS. It is estimated to be about 2,200 years old. It's located in the Giant Forest, a grove that's home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias at the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks in California.

Sequoias are well adapted to survive fires, which help them release seeds and make clearings for young sequoias to grow.

But the climate crisis has driven hotter droughts, which has contributed to "fires that are burning hotter with taller flame lengths," said Christy Brigham, chief of resource management and science at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, The Mercury News reported.

As a result, park crews are taking "extraordinary measures" to protect the trees from the flames, Brigham said.

The bases of the trees have been wrapped in aluminised fire-resistant material called structure wrap that can withstand intense heat for short periods of time, the Associated Press reported.


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