More than 500 firefighters have been fighting a large forest fire in Yosemite National Park in California for several days. According to several media reports, the fire has already spread to an area of almost 1,000 hectares.
The so-called “Washburn” fire is raging in the immediate vicinity of the “Mariposa Grove” redwood forest. The grove is famous for its more than 500 giant sequoia trees, some of which are said to be up to 2,000 years old.
The fire broke out last week. According to the responsible park authority, only 25 percent of the forest fire was under control on Monday.
As the AFP news agency reports, the local fire brigade is spraying the threatened redwoods with water as a precaution to protect them from the approaching flames.
In addition, according to the German Press Agency, sprinkler systems on the ground should keep the threatened area moist. Emergency services on site are busy around the clock removing dry and easily inflammable undergrowth.
What exactly caused the devastating “Washburn” fire is still unclear. According to AFP, an investigation has already been launched into the outbreak of the fire.
Mariposa Grove is located in the southern part of Yosemite National Park. The most famous sequoia in this area is the “Grizzly Giant”. The colossus is 63 meters high, has a base circumference of almost 30 meters and is said to be up to 3,000 years old.
Another attraction in the grove is the “California Tunnel Tree”. Its trunk was pruned in 1895 so that tourists can drive through the tree in a carriage – making the giant the last living tunnel tree.
The group of trees “The Bachelor and Three Graces” have their underground roots so intertwined that if one tree were to fall, the other three would inevitably be blown away.
The tourist attraction “The Faithful Couple” is also directly threatened by the ongoing forest fires. The curiosity is actually two trees that have grown together directly at the base of the trunk.