Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon reopens

The portion of Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks opened for the season Friday, the first time the stretch has opened since a wildfire tore through the area last fall. The reopening allows visitors to easily travel between the two parks.

Some roads and trails along the highway may be closed, the National Park Service said, and many national forest roads between Grant Grove and the northern Sequoia park entrance are still closed until snow melts.

Additional trails are closed due to effects from the KNP Complex fire that burned about 88,300 acres, officials said, including trails in the Redwood Canyon area and most national park trails that begin along the highway between Grant Grove and Lodgepole.

The National Park Service said snow is forecasted at the elevation of the sequoia groves, and tire chain requirements may be in effect.

As many as 2,380 giant sequoias burned to death or are expected to die within several years because of the KNP Complex fire, which began last September as two separate fires that later merged, and was fully contained in December. Most of those trees grew in the Redwood Mountain Grove.

An additional 1,250 trees may have been torched by the Windy fire, which primarily burned in the Sequoia National Forest to the south. It was sparked during the same lightning storm that ignited the KNP Complex fire.

The two fires claimed up to 5% of the world’s population of giant sequoias.

Times staff writer Lila Seidman contributed to this report.

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