The AP has an article out today, “A giant sequoia tree in California is still smoldering 9 months after it caught fire.”
A giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park is still smoldering nine months after it caught fire during last summer’s wildfires.
National park scientists were surveying the damage caused by last year’s Castle Fire when they discovered the burning giant sequoia in the remote Board Camp Grove earlier this week. They said the discovery shows just how dry conditions in the central Sierra have been this year.
“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 a statement.
“With the low amount of snowfall and rain this year, there may be additional discoveries as spring transitions into summer,” he added.
I hesitate to disagree with an AFMO who is on the scene, but it is not at all unusual for small hot spots to survive a winter, even a heavy winter. It happened in 2018 after the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge, an area that gets 60 to 80 inches of rain a year. I say this is not to downplay the drought in Calif., but to offer some perspective. Holdover and “sleeper” fires are not unusual.