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Sequoia National Park in California Closes Due to Massive Wildfire, Administration Says

© REUTERS / NICHOLAS VIDES / THE OAK LEAFSmoke and flames are seen amid an early morning wildfire in South Lake Tahoe, California, U.S. August 31, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media
Smoke and flames are seen amid an early morning wildfire in South Lake Tahoe, California, U.S. August 31, 2021, in this still image from video obtained via social media - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Sequoia National Park in the US state of California, known for its giant sequoias, has been closed to visitors due to a major wildfire outbreak that prompted the evacuation of its employees, the park administration said on 16 September.
The fire started on 9 September after a lightning strike, and soon broke off into two separate areas - the Paradise and the Colony fires - which currently cover the territory of a total of 7,039 acres (26 square kilometers), the park said.
"The KNP Complex [wildfire], ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, grew significantly yesterday. The complex is comprised of the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. Sequoia National Park is closed to the public, and employees that reside inside the park have been evacuated," the park administration stated.
The wildfire is now threatening to spread to the area where giant sequoias grow. The adjacent Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but the air quality has likely deteriorated, according to the administration.
Fresh reports from the area indicate that firefighters are still struggling to contain the fires as the difficult terrain limit access to the affected areas.
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