Giant sequoia trees wrapped in aluminum as California wildfires loom

The General Sherman Tree, billed as the world's largest, could be in danger.

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General Sherman Tree trunk

The General Sherman Tree is one of many massive sequoias threatened by California wildfires.

Getty Images

Wildfires burning in California are posing a threat to giant sequoia trees in the Sierra Nevada, the Associated Press reported Friday. In an effort to protect the trees, firefighters wrapped their bases with fire-resistant aluminum blankets. They hope this will save a famous grove of sequoias from burning, including the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park's Giant Forest. At 52,508 cubic feet, it's the world's largest tree by volume, according to the National Park Service.

The wrappings can handle intense heat for short periods, according to the AP, and have been used for many years to protect structures from fires in the West. Homes that used the fire-resistant wrapping near Lake Tahoe reportedly survived a recent wildfire.

The Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were also reportedly wrapped in an effort to protect against flames. 

The Colony Fire is expected to reach the Giant Forest sometime in the coming days. Last year's Castle Fire is estimated to have killed between 7,500 and 10,600 large sequoias, according to the National Park Service.

See also: Redwoods are made to survive fire, but they don't live alone in the forest