Flames lick up a tree in Sequoia National Forest, California. AP
Flames on Sunday reached a grove of sequoia trees in California as firefighters battled to keep fire from driving further into another grove, where the base of the world’s largest tree has been wrapped in protective foil.
A group of landmark giant sequoias has so far been spared by a blaze sweeping through a California national park, authorities said on Sunday.
Fire officials warned that hot, dry weather and stronger winds were contributing to "critical fire conditions” in the area of the KNP Complex, two lightning-sparked blazes that merged on the western side of Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada.
The fire as of Friday had not impacted the General Sherman, park officials said on Saturday. It stands about 2.5 miles (4 km) northeast of the Guardsmen.
Fire-resistant wrap covers a bridge of Sequoia National Forest, California, on Sunday. AP
The so-called KNP Complex fire, which was ignited by lightning earlier this month, reached the western edge of Sequoia National Park's Giant Forest, home to a group of ancient sequoia trees dubbed the Four Guardsmen.
The fire reached Long Meadow Grove, where the Trail of 100 Giant Sequoias is a national monument. Fire officials haven’t yet been able to determine how much damage was done to the groves, which are in remote and hard-to-reach areas. However, an Associated Press photographer saw active flames burning up a trunk, with the forest floor ablaze below.
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning through Sunday, saying gusts and lower humidity could create conditions for rapid wildfire spread.
Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove of Sequoia National Forest, California. AP
The fires forced the evacuation of the park last week, along with parts of Three Rivers, a foothill town of about 2,500 people. Firefighters using bulldozers expanded a line between the fire and the community, fire spokesperson Rebecca Paterson said on Sunday.
To the south, the Windy Fire grew to 28 square miles (72 square kilometres) on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Giant Sequoia National Monument, where it has burned into the Peyrone grove of sequoias and threatens others.
Historic drought tied to climate change is making wildfires harder to fight. It has killed millions of trees in California alone. Scientists say climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.
More than 7,000 wildfires in California this year have damaged or destroyed more than 3,000 homes and other buildings and torched well over 3,000 square miles (7,770 square kilometres) of land, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
In Vacaville — a city of about 100,000 people located between the state capital Sacramento and San Francisco — residents were urged to evacuate during the night as the wind-whipped flames swallowed dozens of homes.
The fire, dubbed the Apple Fire by local firefighters — who routinely give blazes identifying names — was reported Friday in Cherry Valley, a community about 75 miles east of Los Angeles and had destroyed at least one family home as of Saturday evening.
Residents fled their homes as the so-called Tick Fire scorched over 4,000 acres (1,618 hectares) and was only ten percent contained by Friday evening.
The blaze took place in the village of Lesnoy, 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the capital in the region of Ryazan. Authorities originally said 15 people had died, but later said one man who received severe burns had died in hospital.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Friday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
A fire broke out in a 61-story luxury apartment building in Mumbai in western india on Friday, a fire official said.The New Delhi Television channel reported one death, but there was no immediate confirmation by the fire authorities.