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Wildfire threatens iconic Sequoias at Yosemite National Park

Randy Mancini 5 Jul 11
Seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., a helicopter drops water on the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park, Saturday, July 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., a helicopter drops water on the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park, Saturday, July 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Hundreds of firefighters in Northern California are battling a fast-moving wildfire that’s threatening the iconic Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park. The blaze, dubbed the Washburn Fire, started Thursday and has scorched more than 2,000 acres with no containment.

. @NWSBayArea IMET en route to #WahsburnFire located 3 miles SE of Wawona, CA #CAwx #CAFires @NWSHanford @Yosemitehttps://t.co/MH1iSQV9TU pic.twitter.com/IGQfYJrwyW

— NWS IMET Operations (@NWS_IMET_OPS) July 10, 2022

Campers and residents near the flames have been evacuated. As of Monday morning, no injuries have been reported in relation to the fire. Park officials are using portable sprinklers to protect more than 500 Sequoias under threat. Crews from air tanker planes are dropping fire-retardant chemicals on the blaze and are using bulldozers to create containment lines.

“We know that with wildfires throughout the state right now, you know, we can’t do this alone,” said Scott Gediman, Public Affairs Officer at Yosemite National Park. “These firefighters are incredibly skilled and are going into areas where they’re doing everything from falling trees to suppressing fire to cutting fire line. And we’re we’re using a variety of methods.”

As the sun rises this morning over the West Coast, #GOESWest has a clear view of smoke from the #WashburnFire billowing over California's Central Valley. The fire has consumed ~2,340 acres of @YosemiteNPS, and is threatening many giant sequoia trees. pic.twitter.com/XalegEKejy

— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) July 11, 2022

Firefighting efforts are being hampered by hot temperatures, low humidity and heavy terrain. The cause of blaze is under investigation.

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