YOSEMITE, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Some of the largest trees on earth are in danger tonight as a wildfire burns in Yosemite National Park.
The Washburn Fire started on Thursday near the Washburn Trail in Mariposa Grove. The park’s grove is one of the most-visited spots of the park with 500 Giant Sequoias standing tall.
“It is some of the oldest trees that there are, there are some trees that are 2000 years old,” said Yosemite Fire’s Nancy Phillipe.
Giant Sequoias are known for surviving fire – but wildfires burn hotter and quicker because of the dry conditions.
“Climate change, the drought, the bark beetle, it is a combination of all those things,” said Phillipe.
In the last two years, the U.S. Forest Service blamed several wildfires for killing nearly 20% of the giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevadas. This fire puts even more trees at risk.
Most of Yosemite National Park remains open, despite the fire. The latest conditions can be found by clicking here.