Tree still smoldering from 2020 Sequoia National Park fire

A giant sequoia has been found smoldering and smoking in an area of Sequoia National Park burned by one of the huge wildfires that scorched California last year, the National Park Service said Wednesday.

The cause of the tree fire appears to be the 2020 Castle Fire, the service said in a statement.

"The fact areas are still smoldering and smoking from the 2020 Castle Fire demonstrates how dry the park is," said Leif Mathiesen, assistant fire management officer for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. "With the low amount of snowfall and rain this year, there may be additional discoveries as spring transitions into summer."

The smoldering tree was found recently by scientists and fire crews surveying the effects of the Castle Fire, which was ignited by lightning last August and spread over more than 270 square miles of the Sierra Nevada. It took five months to fully contain.

Most of California is deep in drought, with severe to extreme conditions in the Sierra.