Firefighters wrapped the base of the world’s largest tree – the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest- in a fire-resistant aluminum blanket as they tried to save the famous grove of gigantic old-growth sequoias from wildfires burning in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada, especially from the Colony wildfire. The General Sherman Tree is the largest in the world by volume, at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters), according to the National Park Service. It towers 275 feet (84 meters) high and has a circumference of 103 feet (31 meters) at ground level.The aluminum wrapping can withstand intensive heat for short periods. Near Lake Tahoe, some homes that were wrapped in protective material survived a recent wildfire while others nearby were destroyed. There are also some good news. Colony fire didn’t grow significantly Thursday as a layer of smoke reduced its spread in the morning. The Castle Fire burned thousands of sequoias, some as tall as high-rises and thousands of years old, in the region, last year. Giant sequoias are adapted to fire, which can help them thrive by releasing seeds from their cones and creating clearings that allow young sequoias to grow.
The Sequoia National Park is in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia. The park was established on September 25, 1890 to protect 404,064 acres (631 sq mi; 163,519 ha; 1,635 km2) of forested mountainous terrain. The Giant Forest, in the park, contains five of the ten largest trees in the world. The area has multiple attractions, including the Tunnel Log which is a fallen giant sequoia tree, measuring 275 feet (84 m) tall and 21 feet (6.4 m) in diameter. It fell across a park road in 1937 due to natural causes.