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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

Construction on west Rogers' first full-scale park gets underway

Just wait until it's finished. Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Construction work at Mount Hebron Park is in full swing.

What's happening: If you've seen construction happening on Mount Hebron Road in west Rogers, it's likely crews adding sports fields to the new park.

Why it matters: West Rogers doesn't have a full-scale park but needs one. Jim White, parks and recreation director, tells Axios the area has become a popular place for families to settle in recent years. The park will be more than 70 acres at the corner of Mount Hebron and Garrett roads and neighbor Janie Darr Elementary School.

Background: Voters approved Mount Hebron Park as part of the nearly $300 million bond issue in 2018.

  • It's the second of three major park projects covered by the bond issue. The Railyard Park in downtown Rogers opened this spring, and the Northwest Park renovation hasn't started yet.

Zoom in: Rogers surveyed residents over six months about what they wanted before finalizing plans for the park. Mount Hebron — with eight pickleball courts, a dog park, open space and walking trails — is the result.

  • The park will have playground equipment designed to include kids and adults with disabilities, such as a wheelchair-accessible swing.
  • The project will cost between $14 million and $15 million. White says it'll be complete in late spring or early summer.
12 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

12 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."