Here’s Why the World’s Largest Tree Is Wrapped in Protective Foil Blanket

The majestic General Sherman is the biggest tree in the world by volume and it’s located in the Sequoia National Park in California.

Standing at 275 feet and spreading over 26 feet in diameter, this tree is actually taller than the Statue of Liberty and magnificent sight.

But, it’s also in danger. With wildfires raging in the state, the tree had to be wrapped in aluminum burn-resistant material to be kept safe from potential flames nearby.

Legendary Californian Tree Threatened by Fire

This tree is threatened by the KNP Complex Fire that consists of two blazes, that is, the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire.

The KNP Complex Fire has destroyed more than 23,000 acres and made the Sequoia National Park shut down temporarily as it has reached a small part of the home of the tree along with 2000 other sequoias.

Before the breach, the crews had to remove fuel, put away heavy logs, and also wrap the trees to reduce possible damage.

According to Clayton Jordan, the superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, there is a major concern not just for the sequoia trees, but for the whole area if we take into account how devastating fires can be.

Their primary goal is to keep the community safe.

Jordan adds that they have a special team of resource managers that focus on the protection of sequoias whereas the firefighters are focused on the main threat from the fire.

Sequoia Are Seriously Threatened

Unfortunately, in 2020, between 7500 and 10600 mature sequoias were destroyed during the Castle Fire or between 10 and 14 percent of the world population of this tree.

The shiny material intended to mitigate flames is commonly used for the protection of structures and rarely placed on natural features. It can withstand high heat for short periods. According to federal officials, they’ve been using the material for several years in the west of the US to keep the sensitive structures safe from flames.

In fact, homes located near lake Tahoe which were wrapped in this material survived whereas others nearby that weren’t wrapped were destroyed.

However, the crews that fight against the KNP Complex Fire said they’re doing everything possible to keep these trees safe.

The tree is wrapped only at its base and it’s not actually possible to place it 100 feet up or anything. The goal is to keep the fire from getting to the tree where the likelihood of burning is the highest, which is closest to the ground.

Sources:

MY MODERN MET

THE GUARDIAN

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