Warmer and drier

Sequoias burning

California wildfires have burned into at least four groves of gigantic ancient sequoias in national parks and forests, though cooler weather on Friday helped crews trying to keep the flames away from a famous cluster containing the world’s largest tree.

The fires lapped into the groves with trees that can be up to 200 feet (61 meters) tall and 2,000 years old, including Oriole Lake Grove in Sequoia National Park and Peyrone North and South groves in the neighboring Sequoia National Forest.

Flames were still about a mile (1.5 kilometers) from the famed Giant Forest, where some 2,000 massive sequoias grow on a plateau high in the mountains of the national park.

Firefighters have placed special aluminum wrapping around the base of the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest by volume at 52,508 cubic feet (1,487 cubic meters), as well as some other sequoias and buildings.

historic drought tied to climate change is making wildfires harder to fight. 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.

Meanwhile the cruise ships trundle in and out of Puget Sound, each burning its 80 thousand gallons of fuel per day.

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