Energy & Environment

Official: Hundreds of giant sequoias may have been killed by California wildfires

Kern County Fire Captain Bruce Wells keeps an eye on a burning tree as the wildfire burns closer to homes at night during the French Fire in the Sequoia National Forest
Getty Images

A California official this week said that hundreds of giant sequoias may have been killed by wildfires.

Christy Brigham, head of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, said a fire that began on Sept. 9 has gone through groves where many of the sequoias lived, The Associated Press reported

Brigham said sequoias have adapted to low or high-intensity fires and are able to survive them, but the  KNP Complex has had some high-intensity points that would kill sequoias. 

Two groves that were burned were home for 2,000 sequoias; however, it could take months to determine how many of the trees were killed from the fire, according to Brigham. 

“It’s heartbreaking,” Brigham said as only 11 percent of the KNP Complex has been contained, according to the AP.

Garrett Dickman, a wildlife biologist with Yosemite National Park, told the Los Angeles Times at least 74 sequoias have been killed by the Windy Fire. 

More than 10,000 sequoias were killed last year in Sequoia National Park from wildfires, the AP noted. 

Wildfire season in California has been brutal, with thousands having to be evacuated and thousands of buildings burning. 

Firefighters have been working nonstop to contain the dozens of wildfires that have erupted, with some getting injured in the process.

Tags California wildfires Giant Sequoia Sequoia National Park

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