An enormous wildfire barreled through Big Basin state park last week after a lightning strike. Many people feared that a grove of old-growth redwoods there had been destroyed by the California wildfires. The trees, some of them 2,000 years old, were seen engulfed in flames. Thankfully they survived.
On Monday, an Associated Press reporter and photographer visited the park and reported that most of the trees are thankfully still intact. One of the trees that survived is named Mother of the Forest.
Redwood forests actually rely on forest fires so reports earlier this week that the state park was “gone” were entirely misleading.
California Wildfires: “Such Good News”
“That is such good news, I can’t tell you how much that gives me peace of mind,” said Laura McLendon, a director for the Sempervirens Fund, an environmental group that originally said the trees had all succumbed to fire.
The historic state park headquarters at Big Basin, located below San Francisco, was destroyed though. Many smaller buildings also went up in flames.
“But the forest is not gone,” McLendon told an AP reporter. “It will regrow. Every old growth redwood I’ve ever seen, in Big Basin and other parks, has fire scars on them. They’ve been through multiple fires, possibly worse than this.”
State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer said he was glad to hear the trees had survived and that a full assessment of the park would be coming.
“The reason those trees are so old is because they are really resilient,” Spohrer said.
H/T SF Gate