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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.

Go deeper

California's worsening wildfires spark fresh evacuation orders

A view of the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County, California, about 1pm PT on Tuesday. Photo: U.S. Forest Service

Red flag warnings are in effect over a vast stretch of the West — including California, Nevada and Montana, prompted by strong winds, high temperatures and drought conditions.

The latest: In Northern California, where fuel moisture and flammability are especially conducive to extreme wildfire behavior, the rapidly growing Caldor Fire prompted mandatory evacuation orders to be issued late Tuesday, as it tore through homes in and around the El Dorado County town of Grizzly Flats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
31 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."