KNP Fire Complex Annotated
Science & Technology

Fire Encroaching on Giant Sequoias – California’s Natural Treasures Threatened

September 15, 2021

Within the midst of one other brutal fireplace season, a number of of California’s pure treasures have additionally been threatened.

Within the midst of another brutal fire season that has threatened many lives, houses, and companies, a number of of California’s pure treasures have additionally been threatened. Nonetheless burning after practically 9 weeks, the Caldor fire has encroached on Lake Tahoe. Now a number of the world’s oldest and largest bushes are being threatened by fires on the southern finish of the Sierra Nevada vary.

On September 15, 2021, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired imagery of the KNP fireplace advanced, the Windy fireplace, and the thick smoke plumes each have launched. The picture beneath consists of infrared information with the thermal signature of some fireplace fronts beneath the plumes. NASA’s Terra satellite tv for pc acquired broad-area images of the identical area from September 10-16.

In keeping with InciWeb and different sources, the KNP advanced was ignited by a big lightning storm on September 9–10. The Paradise fireplace and the Colony fireplace began individually close to Sequoia Nationwide Park and have been marching throughout the drought-ravaged landscape towards a merger. By the morning of September 16, the KNP advanced had burned 8,940 acres (36 sq. kilometers). (A complex consists of two or extra separate fires that burn in very shut proximity, have the potential to merge, and are managed by a unified firefighting group.)

The KNP advanced has led to the closure of Sequoia National Park and the evacuation of elements of the close by group of Three Rivers. Fire officers advised The Los Angeles Occasions on September 15 that the blazes have been a few mile from the “Giant Forest,” the biggest focus of large sequoias within the park and residential to the 275-foot General Sherman tree. Close by Kings Canyon Nationwide Park stays open, however air high quality is poor.

September 15, 2021

The KNP fires are raging in very steep, harmful terrain, so many of the firefighting has been finished by plane to this point. The Nationwide Park Service wrote in an replace: “Within the case of the Paradise Fire, extraordinarily steep topography and a complete lack of entry has prevented any floor crew operations, and within the case of the Colony Fire, solely a restricted quantity of floor crew entry has been attainable. Each fires are using intensive aerial sources performing water and retardant drops.”

Due south of the KNP advanced, the Windy fireplace is burning in Sierra Nationwide Forest. It began within the Tule River Reservation through the September 9–10 lightning storm. About 2,800 acres have burned to this point in an space not removed from Giant Sequoia National Monument.

According to CalFire, 1.97 million acres (practically 3,100 sq. miles) have burned in California to this point this yr, and the fireplace season nonetheless has a number of months to go. The overall is about half of the 2020 fireplace season—the worst on document—and roughly equal to the full burned in all of 2018. Close to the top of the final severe drought in the state (2012-16), fireplace totals have been 30 to 40 p.c of the 2021 depend.

NASA Earth Observatory photos by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing Landsat information from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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