While 3,741 firefighters continue to ensure the safety of California residents by keeping in check the Rough fire – one of California’s 12 currently burning wildfires – firefighters for the US Park Service have been tasked with keeping something else safe: the world’s second-largest tree.
The General Grant tree, as it’s known to its many admirers, is the only living thing Congress has named as a national shrine, according to the National Parks website. It is a memorial to American men and women who have given their lives while serving. It is named for Ulysses S Grant, the union army general and president of the United States.
The tree can be found in General Grant Grove, a section of the Kings Canyon national park. And it’s surrounded by other giant sequoia trees, some of which are 3,000 years old. Millions of people visit the General Grant tree and those surrounding it, according to Mike Theune, Kings Canyon national park fire information and education specialist.