In wake of 2020's devastating fires, which killed 10% of giant sequoias, protection coalition formed
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, California – As fire once again sweeps through the American West, an interagency report formally released today estimates that 7,500 to 10,600 large giant sequoias were killed in last year’s Castle Fire. This represents 10-14% of large sequoias in the world. Today, the agencies united by stewardship of giant sequoias are officially coming together in partnership, under the new Giant Sequoia Lands Coalition, to save the remaining 90%.
In 2020, the Castle Fire, part of the larger SQF Complex Fire, burned more than 170,000 acres across Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Park, Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest, and private lands. According to the “Preliminary estimates of sequoia mortality in the 2020 Castle Fire" report, released today, and authored by the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, Save the Redwoods League, The Nature Conservancy, and a local conservationist, more than 10% of the entire existing population of large giant sequoias were killed by this fire alone. While giant sequoias require periodic low-to-moderate intensity fire to maintain healthy ecology, much of the Castle Fire burned too intensely for even these great survivors.