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A person at the base of the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park in 2006. Photo: Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Two uncontained California wildfires are projected to spread toward Sequoia National Park, forcing around 75 park personnel to evacuate, AP reports.

Why it matters: Park officials said the fires have the potential to threaten a part of the park known as Giant Forest, which is home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias, including one that is considered the largest tree on Earth by volume.

  • The massive General Sherman Tree is 275 feet tall and over 36 feet in diameter at its base, according to the National Park Service.

What they're saying: “There’s no imminent threat to Giant Forest but that is a potential,” Mark Ruggiero, fire information officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, said Tuesday, according to AP.

  • Ruggiero said the closest flames were about a mile from Giant Forest on Tuesday morning.

The two fires ⁠— collectively called the KNP Complex ⁠— were ignited by lightning on Sept. 9 and have since grown to 7,039 acres as of Wednesday afternoon, according to federal wildfire data.

  • The Paradise Fire, the largest of the two, spread north toward Sequoia National Park on Tuesday, crossing the Kaweah River and the Generals Highway.
  • Multiple communities south of Giant Forest have been ordered to evacuate, while others have received evacuation warnings.

The big picture: California this year has been battered by multiple large wildfires, which are exacerbated by a climate change-caused megadrought across the West.

  • The Dixie Fire, now the second-largest wildfire in the state's recorded history, has torched more than 960,5oo acres and is 75% contained.

Go deeper: The U.S. just had its hottest summer, tying with "Dust Bowl" year of 1936

Go deeper

PG&E charged with manslaughter stemming from 2020 California wildfire

Flames and smokes are seen during the Zogg fire near the town of Igo in Shasta County, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Photo: Go Nakamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pacific Gas & Electric has been charged with manslaughter and other crimes in connection with a Northern California wildfire last year killed four people and burned hundreds of homes, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: The utility company has faced hundreds of lawsuits and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019, after it was discovered its equipment was responsible for several devastating fires, per AP.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries on Saturday, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

The big picture: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when seven cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement.

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.