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California Wildfires 2020: Governor Newsom Surveys Big Basin Fire Damage

California Wildfires 2020: Governor Newsom Surveys Big Basin Fire Damage

California Gov. Gavin Newsom surveyed fire damage to the Big Basin Redwoods State Park with first responders and other officials on Tuesday.

When a massive wildfire swept through California’s oldest state park, it was feared many trees in a grove of old-growth redwoods, some of them 2,000 years old and among the tallest living things on Earth, may finally have succumbed.

Most of the ancient redwoods had withstood the blaze. Among the survivors is one dubbed Mother of the Forest. “We come and go,” said Newsom. “These trees you see around me, some of them have been up for 13, 14, 15 hundred years, been alive for 14, 15 hundred years. They have scars that make this fire look modest in comparison, and yet they’re still standing.”

The historic park headquarters is gone, as are many small buildings and campground infrastructure that went up in flames as fire swept through the park about 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Newsom has declared a statewide emergency because of the fires, but said the state has made “real progress” in the fight against the blazes.

“We’re holding the line quite literally, not just figuratively,” Newsom said.

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