There are hundreds of wildfires burning across the state of California, forcing thousands of people from their homes and destroying countless houses, properties and vegetation. A deadly combination of dry conditions, lightning, high winds and overgrown vegetation contributed to the fires, which started earlier in August.
Along with the loss of human lives, the fires have taken irreplaceable personal items, sentimental objects and precious wildlife. However, there is a glimmer of hope in the burning forests of the Golden State.
On August 24, a reporter and photographer for the Associated Press trekked the Redwood Trail in California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the state’s oldest state park with 18,000 acres. He reported that most of the 2,000-year-old trees survived the flames.
Laura McLendon, conservation director for environmental group Sempervirens Fund, told AP News that the news gives her peace of mind.
Thankfully, earlier reports that the forest was gone were mistaken. That’s not to say no damage has been done: the park’s headquarters, campground infrastructure and numerous small buildings succumbed to the blaze.