Authorities at Sequoia National Park say the world´s second-largest tree has been damaged by a fire that was allowed to burn as part of a forest management plan.
The fire caused a partial collapse of the 200-foot tall Washington Tree and cut 16-23 feet from its top. Park scientists believe the tree will survive, but are reviewing procedures for protecting significant trees from future fires.
The lightening-sparked blaze was discovered in the Giant Forest on July 30 and reached the Washington Tree six weeks later. Park officials decided to allow the fire to burn in a controlled manner to clear brush that could have ignited a bigger fire.
It took six weeks for the fire to reach the Washington Tree, officials said. The park´s General Sherman giant sequoia is the world´s largest tree, measuring 52,000 cubic feet and standing 275 feet tall.