12:39 PM PDT, September 18, 2021
As California wildfires continue to burn in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, firefighters have found a creative way to protect the world’s largest tree.
They have wrapped a fire-resistant blanket around the base of the General Sherman Tree, according to CBS News.
The tree has impressive measurements: it is 52,508 cubic feet, stands 275 feet high, and at ground level, it has a 103-foot circumference.
In addition to the massive tree being wrapped, they’ve also covered a few other sequoias and several buildings, including the Giant Forest Museum, to protect them.
This isn’t new, as officials say they used this method and material for many years to preserve flames from reaching sensitive structures and even homes.
There are currently two fires burning in Sequoia National Park, the Paradise Fire and Colony Fire. Nearby, the Windy Fire, which was started by lightning, is also a concern.
The Colony Fire is expected to reach a region with about 2,000 sequoias in the next few days.
Sequoias are adapted to fire. The blazes can help with the tree’s released seeds, and they also create spaces so young sequoias can grow, CBS News notes.
However, some fires can be extremely harmful. “[T]he extraordinary intensity of fires – fueled by climate change – can overwhelm the trees,” they add.
The current fires burning are just some of the blazes that have devastated the area all summer. Hundreds of homes and about 3,550 square miles in California have been destroyed.
According to scientists, over the years, climate change has made the region warmer and drier. And as it continues, wildfires will be more frequent and more destructive.