As flames crept closer to California’s giant sequoia trees, firefighters wrapped their bases in fire-resistant blankets, including General Sherman, the world's largest sequoia. The material is rarely applied to such natural features, but crews in Sequoia National Park wanted to protect the iconic trees from the KNP Complex Fire. Fire can release seeds from their cones and create clearings so young sequoias can grow, but high intensity fires can overwhelm trees. Last year's Castle fire killed 7,500 to 10,600 large sequoias. Even if flames reached the sequoia groves, 50 years of using prescribed burns was expected to help the giant trees survive.

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