The Guardian, Reuters
Wildfires in the US state of California threaten General Sherman, the world’s largest tree. Firefighters wrapped the trunk of a mastodon in Sequoia National Park with a fire-retardant blanket to protect it from the fire.
Violent fires have broken out in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the western United States. Two fires are active in Sequoia National Park: the “colony” and “paradise” fires. It was created last week in villages of the same name by lightning strikes and has since grown into giant wildfires measuring 12 square kilometers – about 1,800 football fields. One of them could reach the Giant Forest at any moment, or a forest of 2,000 redwoods or giant sequoias.
Among them is General Sherman. With a height of 84 meters and a circumference of 31 meters at the base, it is considered the largest tree in the world by volume (1,487 cubic metres). At the same time, it is said to be one of the oldest living things on Earth. Its age is estimated at 2,300 to 2,700 years.
Firefighters are doing their best to protect him. It was wrapped in a fireproof blanket, as were some other giant sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum, and some other buildings.
Aluminum can withstand intense heat for a short time and has already been used successfully in the past to protect buildings from rising flames.
More than 300 rescuers are trying to get the fires under control. Sequoia National Park has since been cleared and closed to visitors.
Last year, wildfires in the same area destroyed thousands of redwoods. Some were the size of apartment buildings and several thousand years old.
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