Earth

Saving Giants: Protecting the mighty Sequoias

Ecologists, fire management officers, and tree-lovers alike are seeking ways to protect the world’s most massive trees from catastrophic forest fires

Generations of massive, centuries-old sequoias have been lost to the flames, and they will take generations to regrow.

In 2021, the worst fire on record within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park devastated the area, decimating about 1.5 million acres of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Normally, fire can be good for ecosystem health and actually facilitates regeneration. Forests burn regularly every 15 to 30 years, clearing up the excess ground layer and opening up cones that help the trees grow and thrive. But as humans alter these systems and climate change exacerbates more severe temperatures, fires burn hotter and kill more trees.

In this story, tree-lovers from different walks of life find themselves in the midst of the Giant Forest, drawn in one way or another to the charming allure of the mighty 70-meter-tall giants. For them, it’s a matter of saving the giants so that these magnificent trees can be enjoyed for generations to come.