California fires killed nearly 20 percent of the world’s Sequoias

California wildfires over the past five years have claimed nearly 20% of the world’s largest sequoias. Frequent fires in Sequoia National Park and surrounding forests have killed a third of California’s orchards.
Last year alone, wildfires killed nearly 10,400 of the 75,000 trees native to the western side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

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Climate change has been blamed for the recent change in status. Rising temperatures leave dry tree trunks beneath the canopy, creating a ripe environment for fires.

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“The troubling reality is that we have witnessed yet another massive loss among a limited number of these distinctive and irreplaceable trees in so many ages,” said Clay Jordan, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “As amazing as these trees are, we really can’t take them for granted. To make sure they are there for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, some action is necessary.”

Most giant sequoias take hundreds or even thousands of years to grow to maturity. When they are destroyed, there is no hope of them growing again in our lives. Moreover, these species are the main carbon sinks, and their combustion releases tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

After the fires of the castle and the SQF complex, officials decided to take some steps to save the giant trees. For example, General Sherman’s tree, the largest living tree on Earth, was wrapped in a tin lid. A fire-resistant gel was dropped on tree canopies across gardens, water sprinkled under tree trunks, and flammable materials were removed from trees.

In the past five years, the state has experienced the largest fires in history. Last year, California experienced the largest wildfires in history by area burned. This year brought by far the second largest amount of land burned.

via HuffPost

Lead image via Unsplash

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