Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest Unharmed by Wildfire

By Peyton Phillips September 24, 2021
Thanks to crews wrapping trees in fire-resistant materials and closely monitoring the KNP Complex wildfire, the beloved Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park is unharmed.

 Although a wildfire has been burning nearby for two weeks, the ancient, huge trees of Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest are unharmed. “As of right now we don’t have any damage to any of our trees,” said Mark Garrett, a fire information officer.

Two lightning-sparked fires have merged into one massive wildfire, the KNP Complex, that has spread over 39 miles and feeds on trees that live in the high-elevation slope of the mountain range.

Giant Forest contains about 2,000 sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree, which is considered the world’s largest tree by volume and is a popular destination for visitors to the park.

Recently, the fire reached the edge of the Giant Forest near a group of huge trees called the Four Guardsmen, but the trees were protected by crews that wrapped their bases with fire-resistant material and cleared vegetation that would spread the fire. Firefighters monitored as the “low-intensity fire” passed by and ensured it did not affect the sequoias. 

For decades, officials have set and controlled fires to burn away vegetation that could be harmful to the trees or become fuel for a fire like the KNP Complex.

“The fire behavior is not as extreme as it was a couple of days ago,” said Thanh Nguyen, a fire information officer. “Those trees are beloved.”

Image source: Associated Press