The world’s largest tree, the General Sherman in Sequoia National Park, was spared direct fire damage as the KNP Complex blaze swept into the park’s Giant Forest over the weekend.
Firefighters wrapped the trees in aluminum insulated protective blankets, while hand crews cleared the area around the General Sherman and set controlled fires to remove ground fuel. The KNP Complex Fire has burned 21,777 acres and is 0% contained. “All the protections in the Giant Forest are going really well,” Jon Wallace, the Southern Area Blue Team’s operations sections chief, said in an update Sunday as he went over the latest infrared fire maps. “Firefighters are really working hard up in there to contain that fire.”
Officials were forced to scramble last week — with an urgent call on Saturday for more resources —after the fire swelled and burned through the westernmost tip of the Giant Forest near the Four Guardsmen, a grouping of giant sequoias that marks the forest’s entrance. Crews had been working for the past week to prepare the ancient sequoias by wrapping them in aluminum-foil-like material and raking vegetation from around their bases, according to The Los Angeles Times.