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3,000-year-old tree among those threatened by Yosemite wildfire

California Wildfires
Posted at 7:12 AM, Jul 11, 2022

The 3,000-year-old Grizzly Giant is among the hundreds of sequoia trees threatened by a wildfire in Yosemite National Park.

The Grizzly Giant stands over 200 feet tall and is among 500 sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove, which was evacuated and is closed. The rest of the park remains open.

Officials are using the removal of heavy and fine fuels around the trees and deploying ground-based sprinkler systems to increase the humidity near the trees. The fire is burning in difficult terrain with continuous heavy fuels in and around the fire, National Park officials said.

The fire is also in an area with a lot of fuel left behind from trees that died seven to nine years ago.

The effort to fight the fire is expected to be prolonged as the forecast indicates favorable conditions all week. As of Sunday, the fire consumed 2,340 acres.

One feature of sequoia trees that protect them is sequoias tend to drop their lower branches as they grow taller and older, which helps avoid fire from climbing up to the tops of the trees into the canopy, the National Park said.