Alder Creek Giant Actively Burning Two Months “after” SQF Fire – November 19, 2020
by Sue Cag
I previously reported that my favorite Alder Creek sequoia I refer to as “Alder Creek Giant” (or “AC” for short) is fine and looking wonderful after the SQF Complex / Castle Fire. I was wrong. During my walk today I heard crackling coming from that direction and went up to find the big tree on fire, with part of its top already gone. The fire is burning from the base, the middle, and the top. Plumes of smoke rise up from all these sections. Flames can be seen from the upslope side. I stood there for over an hour watching the giant burn. Branches fell down. Needles turned from green to brown before my eyes. The whole top hasn’t come down yet, but I will be constantly returning to check. The tree is located in a green section of the grove, an area that experienced mostly light to moderate burns.
I visited this sequoia more than any other in the Alder Creek Grove. Exactly one month ago I stood right beside the trunk and it gave no indication of being on fire. There was blackening at the base where an overgrowth of post-logging shrubs burned into it, but that’s all. It must have been smoldering on the inside for two months. It’s hard to believe that after the snow and rain this is happening right now.
Link to short video clip: https://youtu.be/NbCVoqTHHEc @1:37 you can hear a branch crack and fall off.
Save the Redwoods League owns this land and won’t do anything to save these ancient trees. Nearly all of the countless giant sequoias that perished in this fire could have been saved. Further, the USFS SQF team (Forest Service) views this as “contained” and refuses to put out any fire in the area. Of course, they didn’t do anything to stop the fire in the first place. They even allowed houses to burn down after the main fire tore through. Both Save the Redwoods and the Forest Service allowed countless giant sequoias to burn to death during the past two months and continue to do so. Other groves continue to burn even worse, especially Freeman Creek Grove where giant sequoias can still be heard falling to their deaths in the southern section.
All photos by Sue Cag. All Rights Reserved. Photos may not be used without permission.