One of California’s most famous forests is under threat of a conflagration.
The roughly 7.000-acre KNP fire complex burns about a mile from the Giant Forest where the largest tree in the world by volume known as General Sherman stands, said Rebecca Paterson, a National Park Service employee in Three Rivers, near where the fire broke out.
The flames blaze about a mile apart from the iconic Giant Forest, a grove of over 2.000 giant sequoias, including General Sherman Tree, considered by volume the largest tree in the globe that scientists estimate has stayed alive for more than 2.300 years.
About 115 staff were evacuated from the park as were residents in the East Side of the city, Paterson said.
The park was shut on Tuesday when the fire began threatening the Giant Forest, one of about 30.000 such groves that are most frequented, she said.
Unchecked, fires in the complex grew considerably Tuesday, the Federal Fire Information System (FIS), told Inciweb on Wednesday.
The complex, which consists of two flames burning close together, had been set in motion by lightning on 10 September.
Scientists estimate that up to 10.600 redwoods were killed when the fire that claimed the CZU complex last year engulfed the region, accounting for about 42% of all massive trees that stood in its way.