4 FFs injured by fallen tree released from hospital
The KNP Complex and Windy fires have damaged or killed dozens of giant sequoia trees
By Joshua Tehee
The Fresno Bee
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The four firefighters injured while battling the KNP Complex have been released from the hospital, fire officials said Friday.
The team — one Cal Fire employee and three California Conservation Corps. members — was working on the southern edge of the fire when they were struck by a falling tree. All were airlifted to area hospitals where they were treated and released.
Fire crews on Friday continued patrolling the western perimeter of the wildfire's southern zone, working to extinguish hot spots and prevent further spread in that direction. Structure protection and preparation is happening around Case Mountain Grove, Silver City and Mineral King.
In the fire's northern zone, crews on Friday were focusing on the area where the fire crossed the Generals Highway south of Grant Grove. They also patrolled an area from Park Ridge to Redwood Canyon looking to extinguish hot spots.
The KNP Complex as of Friday had burned 85,952 acres and was 11% contained.
Windy Fire update
Containment grew at the southeast boundary of the Windy Fire, at the Tule River Indian Reservation where rugged and remote terrain near Lone Pine Mountain made direct attack too dangerous for firefighters. As of Friday, the fire had burned 97,541 acres and was 80% contained.
Assessment of Sequoia tree damage
The two fires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoia trees.
An official with the National Park Service told the AP that 15 giant sequoia groves have been hit so far by the KNP fire, including two that could have seen 100-foot flames. Those would be capable of burning the canopies of the towering trees. Two burned trees fell in the Giant Forest, home of the General Sherman Tree.
A botanist working inside the Windy Fire, told CNN at least 74 trees have been killed.
(c)2021 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)