Jun 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

California fire destroyed 10% of world's giant sequoias, report finds

Sparse trees on a hill

50- to 70-year-old conifers turned into black sticks near McIntyre Grove Oct. 2020 in Springville, CA. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

A single wildfire that burned through the southern Sierra Nevada last year destroyed anywhere from 10%-14% of Earth's mature redwood trees, according to a draft report from National Park Service scientists obtained by the Visalia Times-Delta.

The big picture: Some of the biggest wildfires in modern California history took place last year. California's 2021 wildfire season is already looking grim, as extreme drought grips much of the state and temperatures rise.

What they're saying: "I cannot overemphasize how mind-blowing this is for all of us. These trees have lived for thousands of years. They've survived dozens of wildfires already," Christy Brigham, chief of Resources Management and Science at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, told the Times-Delta.

  • Of note: Brigham emphasized the research from the study still has to be peer-reviewed and the numbers are preliminary.
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