California wildfires: At least 10,000 giant sequoia trees killed after lightning strikes spark blazes | US News

Wildfires sparked by lightning strikes have killed at least 10,000 giant sequoia trees in California over the past two years – up to nearly a fifth of the world’s largest trees.

Officials said fires in Sequoia National Park and the surrounding Sequoia National Forest this year ripped through more than a third of groves in California and scorched an estimated 2,261 to 3,637 sequoias.

Nearby wildlife fires last year killed an unprecedented 7,500 to 10,400 of the giant trees, which are only native to about 70 groves scattered along the western side of the Sierra Nevada range.

Assistant Fire Manager Leif Mathiesen of the Sequoia & Kings Canyon Nation Park Fire Service looks for an opening in the burned out redwood tree from the Redwood Mountain Grove which was devasted by the KNP Complex fires earlier in the year in the KingsCanyon National Park, Calif., Friday, Nov. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)
A burned-out redwood tree. Pic: AP

The losses account for 13-19% of the 75,000 sequoias greater than 4ft (1.2m) in diameter.

Blazes hot enough to burn and kill sequoias, which were once considered fire-proof, underline the effects of climate change.

A warming planet has produced hotter droughts, fuelling the flames that have killed…

Sky News