Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Institute Fire Restrictions
Effective June 18, 2014, the parks are in Stage 1 fire restrictions, see link below for more information. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice. More »
Road Construction Delays Begin on Park Roads for 2014 Season
Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays at various locations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks beginning Monday, June 2, weekdays only, between 5 a.m.-3 p.m., including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. More »
Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)
Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »
You May Have Trouble Calling Us
We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »
Fire in the Parks
Be aware that fire and/or smoke may be present in the parks at any time. Click on "Current Fire Information" for details.
Land Shaped by Fire
Natural fires as well as prescribed burns are critical to the park ecosystems you have come to see. Occasionally that means that a trail or area may be closed temporarily due to dense smoke or the presence of flames. In other areas you may smell smoke, even if the fire is not nearby. Fire and/or smoke may be present in these parks at any time of year.
Why use fire? It is a natural part of these landscapes. Plants and animals here have adapted to it. Some actually need periodic fire for survival. Sequoias, for example, have adaptations to survive fire, and have trouble reproducing without it. Flames clear and fertilize the ground under the big trees, leaving the kind of soil in which their seeds germinate best. Not coincidentally, fire also opens sequoia cones, so that seeds rain down on this excellent seedbed. In addition, fires remove ground vegetation and forest litter that compete with the seedlings for moisture, nutrients, and sunlight.
Throughout the parks, complete fire suppression would harm the parks' natural character and increase the threat of catastrophic wildfires. Therefore, the park uses natural fires as well as prescribed burns to maintain these ecosystems.
Did You Know?
Sometimes you will see sequoias in a straight row. This may happen because sequoia seeds prefer mineral-rich burned ground. When a fallen log burns long and hot, it leaves a strip of bare mineral-rich soil — an ideal place for new sequoias to grow. Years later, we see a line of sequoias!