Jul 8, 2022 - Energy & Environment
Wildfire threatens giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park
A wildfire is spreading near Yosemite National Park’s famed Mariposa Grove, home to more than 500 giant sequoias, the National Park Service said Thursday.
Driving the news: "The Washburn Fire is burning near the lower portion of the Mariposa Grove. The fire is about estimated at 60 to 70 acres," the park service wrote on Twitter.
- "Firefighters are suppressing the fire from the ground and air. The Mariposa Grove is closed until further notice. All other areas of Yosemite National Park are open."
The big picture: Wildfires spread across much of the Western United States last summer, forcing thousands of people to flee and the fires claimed a number of homes.
- California wildfires killed between 3% and 5% of all giant sequoias in 2021, the National Park Service estimated.
- In total, wildfires last season in California burned more than 2.5 million acres in over 8,800 incidents and killed three people, according to Cal Fire's 2021 data.
- In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation protecting Mariposa Grove as a site for “public use, resort and recreation," per the park service.
Between the lines: Human-caused global warming is a major factor behind the severity, longevity and frequency of the heat waves in the American West and other parts of the world, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.