When a massive wildfire blazed through the Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California last week, people were afraid the trees in a grove of old-growth redwoods may not make it. Some of these trees are 2-thousand years old and are some of the tallest living things on the planet. But an Associated Press reporter and photographer hiked the famous Redwood Trail inside the park and have confirmed most of those amazing trees have survived, including the one called Mother of the Forest.
Big Basin is California’s oldest state park and while the fire destroyed the historic park headquarters and many small buildings on the property, the forest is not gone. “It will regrow,” says Laura McLendon, conservation director for the Sempervirens Fund, an environmental group working to protect the redwoods. She explains that redwood forests are meant to burn and that every old growth redwood she’s seen has fire scars on them.
“The reason those trees are so old is because they are really resilient,” says State Parks District Superintendent Chris Spohrer.
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