Are the California Fires a Danger to the Redwoods?

forestfireWe’ve heard this question many times in the past few months, as forest fires sweep across drought-stricken California.

The short answer is no, the redwoods are not in danger.

Remember that the oldest redwoods are thousands of years old.  They are survivors, and they have lived through many fires.  The redwoods have several natural defenses:

  • The acid soil and deep shade in a redwood forest limit the undergrowth, which means there is little fuel for forest fires.
  • The redwoods have thick, fibrous bark, which does not catch flame easily, and which protects the tree from heat and fire damage.
  • The branches of the redwood trees begin far from the ground, so flames from ground fires can’t reach them.

It’s likely that the redwoods will survive the current California fire season, and thousands more to come!