California’s ancient giants set to become a shadow of their ...


California’s ancient giants set to become a shadow of their former selves

In 2020, up to 14% of sequoias were lost in one fire, and it’s getting worse

Mark Chediak

As much as 5% of the world’s population of giant sequoia trees are expected to die after two large California wildfires burnt through groves this summer in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the National Park Service said.  

The KNP Complex and Windy fires, which tore through the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, have already destroyed or will eventually kill between 2,261 and 3,637 large sequoias, according to a report published on Friday. 

The losses make up an estimated 3 to 5% of the total population of sequoias over 1,2m in diameter. Up to 14% of large sequoias were already lost in the 2020 Castle fire. The combined toll of the fires “represent a significant threat to large sequoia persistence”, the National Park Service said in its report. ..

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