Sep 11, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on California wildfire threatens ancient trees (dpa German Press Agency)
Los Angeles (dpa) – A wildfire raging in central California surged
Friday toward a grove of ancient giant sequoia trees, the US National
Parks Service said.
The so-called Rough fire has burned more than 47,600 hectares in
Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks since it was ignited by a
lightning strike on July 31.
Authorities ordered the evacuation of Grant Grove, home to giant
sequoia trees estimated to be between 1,800 and 2,700 years old –
some of the oldest and largest trees in the world.
The largest of them, known as General Grant, was 83.8 metres tall in
2012 – as high as a 26-storey building, according to the National
The stump of the famed General Noble tree exhibited at the 1897
Chicago World’s Fair would soon be engulfed by flames, fire agency
spokesman Jim Schwarber told the Los Angeles Times.
Giant sequoias are some of the world’s oldest individual trees,
growing only on the western slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada
Many giant sequoias in Grant Grove bear scars of past blazes,
Schwarber said. Four years of drought have left them especially
vulnerable to fire.
The Rough fire is currently the largest active blaze in California
and is still only 29-per-cent contained.
A prolonged drought combined with a hot, dry summer have exacerbated
the western US’s seasonal wildfires. More than 35,090 square
kilometres – an area the size of Taiwan or nearly the size of
Switzerland – have burned in 2015.