Hearth Encroaching on Big Sequoias – California’s Pure Treasures Threatened


KNP Fire Complex Annotated

September 15, 2021

Within the midst of one other brutal hearth season, a number of of California’s pure treasures have additionally been threatened.

Within the midst of one other brutal hearth season that has threatened many lives, houses, and companies, a number of of California’s pure treasures have additionally been threatened. Nonetheless burning after practically 9 weeks, the Caldor hearth has encroached on Lake Tahoe. Now a number of the world’s oldest and largest bushes are being threatened by fires on the southern finish of the Sierra Nevada vary.

On September 15, 2021, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired imagery of the KNP hearth complicated, the Windy hearth, and the thick smoke plumes each have launched. The picture under contains infrared information with the thermal signature of some hearth fronts beneath the plumes. broad-area images of the identical area from September 10-16.

In accordance with InciWeb and different sources, the KNP complicated was ignited by a major lightning storm on September 9–10. The Paradise hearth and the Colony hearth began individually close to Sequoia Nationwide Park and have been marching throughout the drought-ravaged panorama towards a merger. By the morning of September 16, the KNP complicated had burned 8,940 acres (36 sq. kilometers). (A complex contains two or extra separate fires that burn in very shut proximity, have the potential to merge, and are managed by a unified firefighting group.)

The KNP complicated has led to the closure of Sequoia National Park and the evacuation of components of the close by group of Three Rivers. Hearth officers advised The Los Angeles Instances on September 15 that the blazes had been a couple of mile from the “Giant Forest,” the most important focus of large sequoias within the park and residential to the 275-foot General Sherman tree. Close by Kings Canyon Nationwide Park stays open, however air high quality is poor.

KNP Fire Complex Detail

September 15, 2021

The KNP fires are raging in very steep, harmful terrain, so many of the firefighting has been executed by plane up to now. The Nationwide Park Service wrote in an replace: “Within the case of the Paradise Hearth, extraordinarily steep topography and a complete lack of entry has prevented any floor crew operations, and within the case of the Colony Hearth, solely a restricted quantity of floor crew entry has been doable. Each fires are using in depth aerial sources performing water and retardant drops.”

Due south of the KNP complicated, the Windy hearth is burning in Sierra Nationwide Forest. It began within the Tule River Reservation in the course of the September 9–10 lightning storm. About 2,800 acres have burned up to now in an space not removed from Giant Sequoia National Monument.

According to CalFire, 1.97 million acres (practically 3,100 sq. miles) have burned in California up to now this 12 months, and the hearth season nonetheless has a number of months to go. The full is about half of the 2020 hearth season—the worst on document—and roughly equal to the whole burned in all of 2018. Close to the top of the final severe drought in the state (2012-16), hearth totals had been 30 to 40 p.c of the 2021 rely.

NASA Earth Observatory photographs by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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