A sequoia named General Sherman, growing in the Sequoia National Park in California, holds the record for volume and mass among all living organisms on Earth. Its height is 85 meters, weight is 1910 tons, trunk volume is 1487 cubic meters. Now the tree, whose age scientists estimate at 2300-2700 years, is threatened with death: the flames of fires blazing in the Sierra Nevada have crept up to the national park. Reported by the Associated Press.
In an effort to save the famous grove of 2,000 ancient giant sequoias, firefighters wrapped the bases of their trunks in fire-resistant blankets made of aluminum - a material that can withstand extreme temperatures for some time.
This can save trees - given that giant sequoias are in principle adapted to survive in flames, and besides, they regularly arrange so-called controlled fires in the grove - they burn vegetation through which, in the event of a forest fire, the fire can reach the sequoias. However, these efforts may be in vain, as the fires caused by climate change have been unprecedentedly intense, with higher fire temperatures and longer tongues. Last year, for example, from 7,500 to 10,600 large sequoias died in such a fire.
Scientists say that climate change over the past 30 years has already made California much warmer and drier, and in the future the weather will become even more extreme, so that wildfires will occur more often and lead to more devastating consequences.
On Friday at 1:40 am local time, the National Park Service said two fires are likely to reach the Giant Forest of Old Sequoias in the next 48 hours.