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Sequoia National Park: KNP Complex Fire reaches a part of Giant Forest

(CNN) — The KNP Complex Fire in California has reached a “small area” of the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, dwelling to a number of the world’s largest bushes, in response to fireplace officers.

The blaze, which has scorched 21,777 acres, reached the Four Guardsmen space, the place officers spent current days getting ready the bushes for the specter of fireplace, per an replace Saturday on InciWeb, a nationwide clearinghouse for wildfire data.
The base of the General Sherman tree, the world’s largest by quantity, had been wrapped in an aluminum-based burn-resistant materials. But the tree was not impacted by fireplace on Saturday, the replace mentioned.

The KNP Complex Fire was 0% contained as of Saturday. Fire officers anticipated winds to choose up within the space Sunday, prompting a purple flag warning that can stay in impact by the day.

“Crews are preparing for changes and possible significant increases in fire activity,” the replace Saturday mentioned.

There are greater than 600 personnel battling the hearth, which was initially made up of three separate fires ignited by lightning earlier this month, in response to the National Park Service. One of these was 100% contained, however two — the Paradise Fire and Colony Fire — merged Friday and can now be thought-about a single fireplace, per InciWeb.

“Our primary focus is on protection of the communities and always will be,” Clayton Jordan, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, instructed CNN Sunday. “And that’s where most of the firefighting efforts are focused.”

“But we do have a special team of resource managers led by park staff that is focused on the protection of the sequoias while the firefighters deal with the main threat of the fire,” he mentioned, including there are a “number of tools” getting used.

One is wrapping bushes within the “high-tech, aluminum foil, fiberglass fabric” that was used on the General Sherman tree. The materials, Jordan mentioned, works to guard the bottom of the tree the place it could have previous fireplace scars that would go away it susceptible to fireplace. It’s the identical materials that firefighters use for emergency shelters, he added.

“It’s one of many measures that were taken to try to protect these really important trees,” Jordan mentioned.

Last 12 months, between 7,500 and 10,600 mature large sequoias have been destroyed within the Castle Fire — about 10 to 14% of the world’s inhabitants of mature sequoias — in response to a report by the National Park Service printed in June.

Officials final week have been working to mitigate the deal with of the hearth. But this time the wildfire is burning in locations the place the National Park Service has no historical past of fires ever burning, a park official instructed CNN, which means there’s plenty of overgrowth that might gasoline the burn.

“We basically told the fire crews to treat all our special sequoias like they were buildings and wrap them all up, and rake all the litter away and roll away the heavy logs,” mentioned Christy Brigham, chief of useful resource administration and science for the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Jon Passantino, Deanna Hackney, Stephanie Elam, Christina Maxouris and Alisha Ebrahimji contributed to this report.

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