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Officials: Four people seriously injured working on KNP Complex Fire

Western Wildfires
Posted at 8:57 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 11:57:15-04

(KERO) — Officials say four people working on the KNP Complex Fire suffered serious injuries after being hit by a fallen tree Thursday afternoon.

They were transported by air to hospitals. As of Friday morning, they are in stable condition.

The KNP Complex Fire has been burning since Sept. 10th. Its burned more than 85,000 acres and is only 11% contained as of Friday morning.

Four people seriously injured working on KNP Complex Fire

Another wildfire continues to burn as well. The Windy Fire has burned dozens of trees in the Sequoia National Forest.

ABC News' Rich Rodriguez spoke with a park biologist working with firefighters to save the majestic trees.

Garrett Dickman is a vegetation and forest management specialist.

His mission is to assess damage to giant sequoia trees from the windy fire in sequoia national forest.

To date 74 trees have been destroyed by the fire.

Many groves are inaccessible but firefighters were able to save many in a popular tourist area.

"The long meadow grove or the trail of a hundred giants trailhead for awhile we were pushing 20,000 gallons of water out a day on these trees. We were really cooling them down and getting them water they needed," said Dickman.

Dickman was able to size up damage in 11 giant sequoia groves.

Starvation Creek Grove he says got hit the worse. Only four trees dodged the flames.

But he says these 2-thousand-year-old redwoods are amazing trees.

"They can survive a lot but when they're 95% of their leaves are gone, incinerated and they're burned all the way into the inner layers of the bark, they can't survive that."

When the fire first started, protective aluminum foil was wrapped around the base of the trees. Did it help?

"I'll give it an it's okay. If it's a low fire hitting on the ground and it's radiant heat it does seem to work," said Dickman.

But Dickman says the Windy Fire has seen flames as high as 250 feet.

When fire destroys the canopy of a 200 foot giant sequoia, he says the tree doesn't stand a chance of surviving.

ASSEMBLE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT

Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.