WILDFIRE TRACKER: Interactive map shows where wildfires are burning in CA
"The fire blankets have been used for a long time to protect the structure," said Christy M Brigham, Chief Resources Management & Science, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.
Luz Pena: "What's the purpose of these fire blankets?"
Christy M Brigham: "Is to prevent ambers from getting into the trees or old fire scars. Those structure wraps are employed along with raking, removal of fuel and in some areas back burning."
The 1,500 to 2,000 year old trees adapt to fires, but researchers say the intensity of the latest wildfires overwhelmed many of these trees.
"We have this deficit of 100 plus years of just dead, wooded material in the ground. Then that sort of propagates fire behavior. When that occurs it burns more intense," said Alexis Bernal, UC Berkeley researcher.
VIDEO: Sierra Nevada Sequoias sprouting new life after battling drought, fires
On the ground is a team of UC Berkeley scientists surveying the damage of the 2020 Castle Fire.
"The branches no longer exist and some of these Sequoias kind of blow themselves up during the fires," said Bernal.
According to Sequoia National Park, during the 2020 fire, 7,000 to 10,000 Sequoia trees burned. Brigham said that's about 10 to 14 percent of the Sequoia population at that park.
Brigham projects there could be about 2,000 Sequoia trees in danger as the flames of the KNP Complex Fire get closer.
EXPLAINER: What are some key decisions in fighting wildfires?
Scott Stephens, a professor of Fire Science at UC Berkeley and his team are looking for long term solutions to save the iconic trees.
"Seeing Sequoias that are 20 feet in diameter and probably experienced over 100 fires in their history and they survived them all. Then here comes 2020 bang, hits it and its dead. Then you look over another ridge and there is another 5 more, another ridge and there is 15 more," described Stephens.
RELATED: Why scientists want to fight California fires with more fires
Professor Stephens believes several factors will play a key role in fire mitigation but getting ahead of forest restoration will be key.
"If we don't get through the forest restoration that we need we are never going to get out of this hole. We are going to be chasing our tails forever. My back-of-the-envelope calculation says we need to do 10 times more prescribed burning and restoration thinning than what we are doing annually," said Stephens.
For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map shows riskiest areas in California for damaging wildfires
- How bad will CA's fire season be? Here's what we know, what we don't
- How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation
- How to prepare your pets in case of disaster
- How to make a pet carrier in case of emergency
- Most destructive California wildfires in history
- The deadliest wildfires in California history
- Live: Track Bay Area air quality levels
- How are wildfires started? A look at the causes of some of the worst in California history
- The difference between containing and controlling a wildfire
- What's in wildfire smoke? How it can impact your health
- What are the diablo winds and how can they influence Northern California wildfires?
- What you need to know about Santa Ana winds and California wildfires
- Safety tips to remember when returning home after wildfire
- How to pick a mask for protection during a wildfire
- Red flag warning: What to do during dangerous fire conditions
- Everything to know about red flame retardant dropped during wildfires
- What happens to animals during wildfires?
- How to drive safely during a power outage
- How wildfires create a serious threat for flooding and mudflows
- These aircraft are on the front lines of the fight against California wildfires