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Most of Big Basin’s Redwoods Scorched, But Still Standing

Major damage cause by wildfire, but even badly-burned redwoods can eventually recover.
By - posted 8/21/2020 No Comment

Heartbreaking news from Sempervirens Fund, and Mercury News that the historic Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park, has been badly damaged by fire including an almost total loss of its campground and visitor amenities. 

As of Friday morning there are conflicting reports as to how extensive the fire damage is.

Among the most alarming headlines is KCBS who reported that “California’s Oldest State Park, Home To Majestic Coast Redwoods, Is ‘Gone’” – but later in the article mentions, “The fate of the park’s oldest trees is not yet known.

The Sempervirens Fund, an organization that aims to protect and permanently preserves redwood forests posted an emotional message on their Facebook Page starting with We are devastated to report that Big Basin State Park, as we have known it, loved it, and cherished it for generations, is gone.

But on Thursday, two journalists from the Mercury News hiked into Big Basins to asses the damage first hand and found although the headquarters buildings were all “burned to rubble” the majority of the park’s giant redwoods were found scorched, but still upright

Fire ecologist Kristen Shive, director of science at Save the Redwoods League, said that in many cases, even badly burned redwoods may look bad but can eventually recover.

Read more and see exclusive photos from Mercury News and photos of damage to buildings from SF Gate.


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We are devastated that Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park, has suffered heavy damage to its historic buildings with almost a total loss of its campground and visitor amenities. We are working to determine the fires’ impact on the redwood forest, in the magnificent old growth of Big Basin, and in the many other redwood parks within the fires’ active areas, but the fire crews are rightly focused on containment and saving lives. A full damage assessment will come in due time. We know this is the last thing we needed in a year tainted by a global pandemic, economic crisis, and racial violence. Please hang in there, friends. With the resilience of the redwood forests as our balm, we will get through this. Big Basin is one of many redwood parks currently closed due to the fires. Visit the link in our bio for a complete list of redwood park closures. Stay safe and stay inside if you can 💚 📍Awaswas/Quiroste land

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