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Firefighters use aluminum wrap to protect enormous tree from wildfires

Saturday, September 18th 2021, 7:52 pm - The tree, known as General Sherman, is one of the tallest on Earth.

Some of the mightiest trees on Earth are being prepared by firefighters to weather the flames of encroaching wildfires.

Pictures of a sequoia known as General Sherman in California's Sequoia National Park have been making the rounds on social media after its base was wrapped in an aluminum-based fire suppressant foil by firefighters.

The material reduces the effects of heat from wildfire flames by radiating most of it away.

Firefighters are also wrapping other trees in that part of the park, which is called the Giant Forest, and also removing fire fuel like fallen branches away from their bases.

Tree wrapped in tinfoil NPS (National Parks Service)

The nearby KNP Complex fire has burned more than 4,600 hectares so far. It was caused by lightning on September 9th, and forced the closure of the park.

"We basically told the fire crews to treat all our special sequoias like they were buildings and wrap them all up, and rake all the litter away and roll away the heavy logs," Christy Brigham, chief of resource management and science for the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, told CNN.

General Sherman towers more than 80 metres above the forest floor, with a base diameter of 12 metres. It is one of the tallest trees in the world, and the National Park Service says it has more wood in its trunk than any other tree.

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