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Wildfire threatens famous California sequoia forest | US News


One of California’s most famous forests is threatened by wildfire.

The fire at the 7,000-acre KNP complex, which includes two large Forest fires, burns about a mile from the giant forest of Sequoia National Park, according to public information official Rebecca Paterson.

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Dry conditions and winds of up to 25 mph can help the fire develop in the next few days. Photo: AP

The forest is home to redwoods, including the tallest tree on Earth, nicknamed General Sherman.

About 115 employees were evacuated from the park, along with residents of the eastern part of the town of Three Rivers, Ms Paterson said.

The park was closed on Tuesday as the blaze began to threaten the giant forest, she said.

The fires have increased significantly this week with zero containment, the federal fire information system Inciweb said on Wednesday.

The fire was started by lightning on September 10 and is burning in steep canyons, fed by dry wood and chaparral.

Dry conditions and winds of up to 25 mph could help the fire develop in the coming days, the Inciweb system said.

Flames from the KNP Complex fire burn a hill above the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park.  Photo: AP
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The forest is home to redwoods, including the largest tree on the planet. Photo: AP

Air quality in the area is poor and parts of Three Rivers that have not been evacuated have been warned to be ready to leave, Ms Paterson said.

The park service has carried out prescribed burns in the area, which officials hope will minimize the impact on giant sequoias if the fire hits them, she added.

Sequoia National Park in California is known for its giant sequoias.  Photo: AP.
Picture:
Sequoia National Park in California is known for its giant sequoias. Photo: AP.

Redwoods depend on fire as part of their life cycle, but some massive and intense fires fueled by climate change can do more damage than in the past.

“Even if the fire reaches the giant forest, that doesn’t mean it will be devastating once there,” Ms. Paterson said.


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