How a smoking giant sequoia has burned since 2020 - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday, 10 May 2021

How a smoking giant sequoia has burned since 2020

How a smoking giant sequoia has burned since 2020

On a long, recent trudge through forest burned in California's 2020 Castle Fire, a six-person survey crew peered at a curiosity in the distance.

"We saw a little tiny smudge of white and wondered if it was snow on a distant slope," said Nate Stephenson, a forest scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Upon closer inspection, it wasn't snow. It was smoke, coming from an iconic giant sequoia. "It would put out puffs of smoke," recalled Stephenson, of the April 22 sighting.

The remote tree has smoldered (burning without flames) since fires torched sequoia groves in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in September 2020. The rare smolder is representative of the West's intensified modern fire regime: A potent combination of warming climes and vastly overgrown, mismanaged forests, among other factors, has left even the stalwart giants of the Sierra Nevada vulnerable to flames. They're the largest trees on Earth. Yet as the U.S. Forest Service notes, "most of these ancient trees lived through hundreds of fires, yet modern wildfires are killing them."  Read more...

More about Wildfires, Science, and Climate Environment

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