The data behind what we know about giant sequoia and fire

New feature explains how giant sequoia's relationship with fire has changed

castle fire
The 2020 Castle Fire revealed startling changes in how fire affects giant sequoia groves in the Sierra Nevada.

Save the Redwoods League and Pitch Interactive have put together a new online story and data visualization that tells the fascinating story of the relationship between giant sequoia and fire.

New data from the 2020 Castle Fire shows that the wildfire caused an unprecedented loss of giant sequoia. As of mid-October, about 16,563 acres have burned in the giant sequoia range (roughly 34 percent of the range), most of which is old growth. But preliminary data suggest that roughly 40% of the burned areas within the sequoia groves burned at high severity, which means there will be potentially very large losses of ancient giant sequoia in this one fire.

Fire in the giant sequoia ranges of the Sierra Nevada is not new, and is in fact a necessary ecological feature. What is new is this level of severity that poses a unique challenge to these ancient trees that have thrived for millennia alongside fire. This story is compellingly told in a new online feature and data visualization from Save the Redwoods League and Pitch Interactive. Learn about the giant sequoia’s unique relationship with fire, and what makes modern fires so different from what the trees have experienced in the past.

About the author

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

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2 Responses to “The data behind what we know about giant sequoia and fire”

  1. Vicki Smith

    If you were able to add a Facebook etc link to make articles easy to share, I would welcome the opportunity to post on my page and spread the word. May help increase membership from poignant articles. Likely others would post too if it’s as easy as a click:)

    • Save The Redwoods League

      Hi Vicki, thanks for the suggestion! We will look into adding this feature to our blog.


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