California: tallest tree in the world wrapped in fireproof blanket to save it from wildfires

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California: tallest tree in the world wrapped in fireproof blanket to save it from wildfires


The base of the world’s tallest tree has been wrapped in a fireproof blanket, in an effort to save it from the wildfires raging in California.

The General Sherman tree, located in a Sierra Nevada National Park, was covered with aluminum wrapping that could withstand intense heat for short periods of time.

In the giant forest of Sequoia National Park, other large redwoods, the Giant Forest Museum, and other buildings have been shrouded to protect against the possibility of intense flames.

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Plumes of smoke rise from the Paradise Fire in Sequoia National Park. Photo: AP

Federal officials said the material has been used for several years in the western United States to protect sensitive structures from flames.

The colony fire, one of two fires in the national park, is expected to reach the giant forest – a grove of 2,000 redwoods – within days, fire officials said.

The General Sherman Tree is the world’s largest by volume, at 52,508 cubic feet.

It stands at 275 feet (83 meters) high and has a circumference of 103 feet (31 meters) at ground level.

Learn more about the California wildfires

Prescribed burns – fires deliberately intended to remove other types of trees and vegetation that would otherwise fuel forest fires – have been used over the past 50 years to help park redwood groves survive by reducing the amount of forest fires. impact if the flames reach them.

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Cones are blocking the entrance to Sequoia National Park as the KNP complex fire burned nearby on Wednesday. Photo: AP

A “strong prescribed burn history in this area is cause for optimism,” said fire spokeswoman Rebecca Paterson.

“I hope the giant forest will come out unscathed. “

Giant sequoias are adapted to fire, which can help them thrive by releasing seeds from their cones and creating clearings that allow young sequoias to thrive. But the intensity of the fires can overwhelm trees.

Last year, forest fires killed thousands of redwood trees in the area, which are thousands of years old.

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Flames from the KNP Complex fire burn a hill above the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park. Photo: AP

Historic drought and heat waves associated with climate change have made wildfires more difficult to fight in the American West.

The wildfires are among the latest in a long summer of fires that have burned nearly 3,550 square miles in California and destroyed hundreds of homes.

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