California wildfires – US declares major disaster
US declares California wildfires a major disaster when continuous lightning strikes started hundreds of fires across Northern California.
Since then, over 1.3 million acres have burned and California is under a state of Emergency.
Fears rose that many trees, some 2,000 years old and the tallest living things on Earth, may finally have succumbed to the fires.
When a massive wildfire swept through California’s oldest state park last week it was feared many trees in a grove of old-growth redwoods, some of them 2,000 years old and among the tallest living things on Earth, may finally have succumbed.
But an Associated Press reporter and photographer hiked the renowned Redwood Trail at Big Basin Redwoods state park on Monday and confirmed most of the ancient redwoods had withstood the blaze. Among the survivors is one dubbed Mother of the Forest.
“That is such good news, I can’t tell you how much that gives me peace of mind,” said Laura McLendon, conservation director for the Sempervirens Fund, an environmental group dedicated to the protection of redwoods and their habitats.
Redwood forests are meant to burn, she said, so reports earlier this week that the state park was “gone” were misleading. Read more on California Wildfire.