A giant sequoia has been found smoldering and smoking in a part of Sequoia National Park that burned in one of California's huge wildfires last year, the National Park Service said Wednesday. "The fact areas are still smoldering and smoking from the 2020 Castle Fire demonstrates how dry the park is," said Leif Mathiesen, assistant fire management officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in central California. "With the low amount of snowfall and rain this year, there may be additional discoveries as spring transitions into summer." Officials said the burning giant sequoia is well within fire lines and there are no threats to life or property, the AP reports.
The smoldering tree was found recently by scientists and fire crews surveying the effects of the blaze, which was ignited by lightning last August and spread over more than 270 square miles of the Sierra Nevada. It took five months to fully contain. Most of California is deep in drought, with severe to extreme conditions in the mountain range that provides about a third of the state's water. The dryness could set the stage for a repeat of last year, when wildfires, many of them ignited by thousands of dry lightning strikes, burned a record 6,562 square miles in the nation's most populated state. With drought conditions dire across the American West, AccuWeather predicted an above-average 2021 wildfire season in a forecast released Wednesday.
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