By Elijah Mt. Castle
The Washburn Fire burning in the southern tip of Yosemite National Park is threatening the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia trees. The grove contains 500 giant trees some of which are more than 2,000 years old. As a preventative measure, sprinklers have been installed around the grove. The Grizzly Giant, the largest in the Mariposa grove, received its own set of sprinklers. The iconic tree is the second largest in the park and stands at 209 feet tall. Sequoia trees are the largest living organisms in the world by volume they can live for thousands of years and continue to grow for their entire lifespans. Despite having thick fire resistant bark, they can still be damaged or killed by fire. The National Park Service is working tirelessly to combat the Washburn Fire. Removing brush and other fuels around the grove will hamper the fire spreading. The fire is currently burning in a heavily ticketed and hilly region that is hampering fire suppression efforts. High temperatures and dry conditions have allowed the fire grow to over 2,000 acres as of July 11th. The fire started on July 7th and the cause is currently being investigated. Pictured are the VNF detections for July 7th – 11th, 2022. Also pictured is the VIIRS SNPP average radiances for July 9th, 2022.