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California wildfires threaten famous giant sequoia trees

Western Wildfires
Western Wildfires
Western Wildfires
Western Wildfires
Posted at 5:50 PM, Sep 16, 2021

Firefighters have wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree in a fire-resistant blanket as they try to save a famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

A fire spokeswoman said flames could reach the grove of 2,000 trees in the Sequoia National Park sometime Thursday.

The base of the colossal General Sherman Tree and some of the other giant sequoias and buildings in the Giant Forest have been wrapped as protection against the possibility of intense flames.

The KNP Complex is comprised of two fires that have burned a combined 9,365 acres as of Thursday afternoon, according to fire officials.

APTOPIX Western Wildfires
A helicopter prepares to drop water on the KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. The blaze is burning near the Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The flames were reportedly sparked by lightning last Friday, September 10.

The KNP Complex is 0% contained and fire officials say it continues to grow in all directions.

An evacuation order is in place for part of the community of Three Rivers.

Western Wildfires
A sign announces the closure of Sequoia National Park, where the KNP Complex Fires are burning, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Tulare County, Calif. Individually named the Colony and Paradise Fires, the blazes are burning near the Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sequoia National Park is closed to the public. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but smoke is impacting the air quality.

More than 350 fire personnel are assigned to the fire.