The uncontained Washburn Fire threatens to incinerate more than 500 mature sequoias in Yosemite National Park, forcing the evacuation of park visitors and residents of Wawona, a community surrounded by the park. Sequoias were once believed to be impervious to fire damage, but in just the last two years, wildfires fueled by climate change have killed as many as one-fifth of the remaining 75,000 iconic sequoias on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
This is the second time in a month that one of the nation’s most iconic national parks were closed due to climate-amplified extreme weather. Flooding washed out roads and bridges in and around Yellowstone National Park in mid-June, illuminating, the AP reports, the inadequacy of forecasting models ill-equipped to predict storms fueled by climate change. (Yosemite/Washburn Fire: AP, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post $, AP, LA Times $, The Guardian, CNN, New York Times $, CNN, Reuters, ABC, The Hill, Axios; Yellowstone floods: AP; Climate Signals background: Wildfires)