Photos document fight to save world’s tallest trees

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Ed Christopher, deputy fire director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, watches the four rangers at General Sherman’s entrance to Sequoia National Park, Calif., September 22, 2021.

Gary Kazanjian | UKTN | Getty Images

Last week, fires started to get out of hand in steep canyons near California’s Sequoia National Park, which contains some of the world’s tallest trees measured by volume. As the flames approached, park officials wrapped the base of some trees in fire-retardant aluminum blankets to protect the giants. On Monday, the flames had mostly passed near the taller trees, although the covers are likely less important to their salvation than the controlled burns the park has carried out in recent years, a park official told SFGate.

Here’s a look back at the fight to protect the trees in Sequoia:

Protect an icon

Firefighters cover a panel carved from redwood wood at the entrance to Sequoia National Park on September 17, 2021.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National | via Reuters

A tree on fire

Photographing the giants

A photographer takes photos at the base of giant sequoias in the Lost Grove along Generals Highway north of Red Fir during a media tour of the KNP Complex fire in Sequoia National Park, Calif. On September 17, 2021 .

Patrick T. Fallon | UKTN | Getty Images

A captured memory

Orange County firefighters take photos as the Windy Fire burns down in the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, Calif., September 21, 2021.

David Swanon | Reuters

Hold the line

Firefighters spray water as flames march toward a road during the Windy Fire in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, Calif., September 22, 2021.

Patrick T. Fallon | UKTN | Getty Images

Guard the four guards

The forest on fire

A firefighter from the Alaska Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew carries a chainsaw as the Windy Fire burns down in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, Calif. On September 22, 2021.

Patrick T. Fallon | UKTN | Getty Images

Save General Sherman, the tallest tree in the world

Operations Section Chief Jon Wallace watches over General Sherman, the tallest tree in the world, which has been protected by a structural fire envelope in Sequoia National Park on September 22, 2021.

Gary Kazanjian | UKTN | Getty Images

Controlling the burn

Firefighters work to control the Windy Fire as trees burn in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, Calif., September 22, 2021.

Patrick T. Fallon | UKTN | Getty Images

Residual heat control

Ed Christopher, deputy fire director at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, checks residual heat near the four rangers in Sequoia National Park on September 22, 2021.

Gary Kazanjian | UKTN | Getty Images

A flame in the night

A warning of danger

A huge tree is flagged as dangerous by firefighters as the Windy Fire burns in the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, Calif., September 21, 2021.

David Swanson | Reuters

Work through the smoke

Firefighters battle the Windy Fire as it burns in the Grove of the 100 Giants Trail in the Sequoia National Forest on September 19, 2021.

Noé Berger | PA

Watch the flames

A firefighter watches flames and smoke rise into the air as trees burn during the Windy Fire in the Sequoia National Forest near Johnsondale, Calif., September 22, 2021.

Patrick T. Fallon | UKTN | Getty Images

General Sherman survives

The historic General Sherman tree, which was rescued from the fires, is seen in Sequoia National Park, Calif., On September 22, 2021.

Gary Kazanjian | UKTN | Getty Images

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