By Miriam Raftery
Photo: General Grant Tree, courtesy National Park Service
September 12, 2015 (Sequoia National Forest)- The fast-moving Rough Fire (#RoughFire) has charred over 128,000 acres and threatens the famed Grant Grove of ancient Sequoia redwood trees in King’s Canyon National Park. The lightning-sparked fire is 29% contained.
The grove includes giant sequoias thousands of years old, notably the General Grant tree, named in 1867 after Ulysses S. Grant and declared our nation’s Christmas tree by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926.
The National Park Service has closed and evacuated the Grant Grove area of King’s Canyon including John Muir Lodge, all campgrounds and the John Muir cabins. The Cedar Grove area and all lodging there are also closed. Those areas will stay closed until at least September 18. Sequoia National Park remains open but a smoke advisory is in effect.