With the pandemic situation, ongoing unrest over racial injustice and police brutality, widespread unemployment, and a pair of hurricanes bearing down weren’t enough, California now is literally on fire.
When the 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 are around 2,000 years old and among the tallest living things on Earth. Many experts feared the worst when the fires roared into the park’s area. “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 protecting redwoods and their habitats.
Facebook | Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Redwood forests are meant to burn, she said. The historic park headquarters is gone, as are many small buildings and campground infrastructure that went up in flames as the fire swept through the park about 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of San Francisco. She also said: “But the forest is not gone. It will regrow. Every old-growth redwood I’ve ever seen, in Big Basin and other parks, has fire scars on them. They’ve been through multiple fires, possibly worse than this.”
State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer told AP News that he was pleased about the redwoods surviving, but not surprised. “The reason those trees are so old is that they are really resilient.”
h/t: Associated Press
The damage is still being assessed, and there’s much work on that front, as downed trees will have to be cleared even to get into some areas to see what else has been damaged. However, fundraising efforts have already begun. Sempervirens Fund has already created two funds to help with relief and recovery efforts.