Out-of-Control Wildfire Has Now Breached Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, Home of Earth’s Largest Tree

by Kati Michelle

It’s never fun being the bearer of bad news, but it looks like there’s a new concerning update regarding California’s wildfire spread. A complex of them are uncontained and now breached Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest.

More specifically, the Colony and Paradise fires of the KNP Complex are to blame. Since Friday night, the two wildfires merged, growing to cover more than 17,000 acres. While this fact alone spells trouble, there’s another reason why people worry. The path of the wildfires leaves the Earth’s largest tree vulnerable to destruction. This tree holds the nickname of General Sherman. Although the fires have not made contact with it yet, officials are running out of time for their preparations.

Preventative Measures for the Wildfires

Previous reports detailed some of the preventative measures already taken by National Park Officials in light of the growing wildfires. Namely, they showed Park Officials getting out the fire-resistant aluminum foil and setting out to cover as many Sequoia Trees as possible. As the air fills with smoke, they are wondering if their efforts will be enough to fend off the destruction.

A hoard of firefighters already finds itself on the ground armed with firehoses. Despite that, officials need to closely monitor weather conditions to assess safety before sending any more crews out. What’s more is that their efforts can be rendered completely useless in seconds. It really only takes the turn of the winds or a single lightning strike to ignite more wildfires. Starting at 5pm Saturday night, firefighters put the area into a red-flag warning. This demonstrates high-risk.

“Winds are expected to pick up in and around the fire area. Crews are preparing for changes and possible significant increases in fire activity,” the incident commander’s report stated.

As it currently stands, over 400 firefighters are at the scene. They come from different local, state and federal agencies. Their combined efforts focus on trying to save one of the world’s only habitats for the giant sequoia. While some roads remain open in the area, officials closed off most of them. They expect the air quality to worsen in the coming days.

General Sherman

According to the National Park Service, The General Sherman Tree stands 275 feet tall with a diameter at the base that’s nearly 40 feet. It gets its elite title of the “Earth’s largest tree” for its overall volume. For all you history buffs, the name comes from exactly where you think it does. The tree borrows its name from the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.

We at Outsider keep all those firefighters and heroes in our thoughts as they continue to battle the relentless wildfires.

After surviving over 2,000 years on this planet, let’s hope General Sherman has another 2,000 left.

(Photo by Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)