California’s largest trees threatened by fire in Sequoia National Park

Multiple wildfires started in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks on Sept. 9, 2021NPS

-Updates: Get the latest information from the U.S. Forest Service.
-Park info: Get the latest details on Twitter and the parks’ website.

Multiple wildfires ignited amid a lightning blitz on Sept. 9 in California’s neighboring national parks Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The parks, located about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, are popular tourists spots and home to some of world’s largest trees.

The fires are collectively being called the KNP Complex and had raced through 3,024 acres as of Tuesday morning with no containment, the U.S. Forest Service said. 

Three Rivers, east of the intersection of Highway 198 and North Fork Road, was put under an evacuation warning on Monday. Only a year ago the community that serves as a gateway to the parks was evacuated due to the Castle Fire.

The fire’s sparked Thursday and on Saturday, Sequoia National Park closed its Tulare County entrance. On Sunday, the park closed the Giant Forest, with over 2,000 giant sequoias including the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree standing 275 feet tall and with a diameter of 36 feet

As of Tuesday morning, all of Sequoia National Park was shuttered and the closure could last for at least a week and possibly longer. Kings Canyon remained open.

“These fires are growing and have potential to affect park infrastructure and resources,” the Forest Service said in an incident overview posted online. “The parks are aggressively attacking these fires to suppress them.”

The blazes are located in steep, densely forested terrain that’s highly flammable with thousands of dead trees. A fire dubbed the Paradise Fire that crossed the Generals Highway was initially completely inaccessible from the ground, the National Park Service said. 

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