4 famous giant trees unharmed by Sequoia National Park fire

  • A helicopter drops water on the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    A helicopter drops water on the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguish a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguish a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighter Austin Cia sprays water as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • A firefighter battles the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    A firefighter battles the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Members of the media look at sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Members of the media look at sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Sequoia trees stand in Lost Grove along Generals Highway as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Mark Garrett, a fire information officer, examines a sequoia tree during a media tour of Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Mark Garrett, a fire information officer, examines a sequoia tree during a media tour of Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • A fire engine drives past sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    A fire engine drives past sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Members of the media walk among sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif.

    Members of the media walk among sequoia trees in Lost Grove as the KNP Complex Fire burns about 15 miles away on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Sequoia National Park, Calif. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Fire-resistant wrap covers a bridge as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Fire-resistant wrap covers a bridge as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters discuss tactics while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters discuss tactics while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Smoke rises above trees as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Smoke rises above trees as the Windy Fire burns in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • A firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguishes a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    A firefighters battling the Windy Fire extinguishes a spot fire near the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters pass a sign wrapped in fire-resistant material while battling the Windy Fire burning in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

  • Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

    Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/20/2021 10:27 AM

THREE RIVERS, Calif. -- Four famous giant sequoias were not harmed by a wildfire that reached the edge of Giant Forest in California's Sequoia National Park, authorities said.

The Four Guardsmen, a group of trees that form a natural entryway on the road to the forest, were successfully protected from the KNP Complex fire by the removal of nearby vegetation and by wrapping fire-resistant material around the bases of the trees, the firefighting management team said in a statement Sunday.

 

The KNP Complex began as two lightning-sparked fires that eventually merged and has scorched more than 37 square miles (96 square kilometers) in the heart of sequoia country on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

There was no immediate word, however, on the extent of damage in several other sequoia groves reached by a separate blaze, the Windy Fire, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument area of Sequoia National Forest and the Tule River Indian Reservation.

The Windy Fire has burned through the Peyrone and Red Hill groves, as well as a portion of the Long Meadow Grove along the Trail of 100 Giants.

'œGenerally fires can be destructive however low-intensity fires can be beneficial to giant sequoia trees. A damage assessment will be done in these groves when it is safe to do so,' a Sequoia National Forest statement said Sunday.

The Windy Fire has scorched more than 37 square miles (95 square kilometers).

The KNP Complex forced the evacuation of Sequoia National Park last week, and on Sunday much of adjacent Kings Canyon National Park was closed. Visitors to areas that were still open were warned of hazardous air quality due to smoke.

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A large area of Northern California was under a red flag warning for extreme fire danger Monday due to dry offshore winds that can raise fire danger.

The warning did not extend into Southern California, but forecasters said there would be weak Santa Ana winds and significant warming - elevating the risk of wildfires.

Historic drought tied to climate change is making wildfires harder to fight. It has killed millions of trees in California alone. Scientists say climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

More than 7,000 wildfires in California this year have damaged or destroyed more than 3,000 homes and other buildings and torched well over 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometers) of land, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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