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US Takes Emergency Action to Save Sequoias From Wildfires

In this Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 file photo, Flames burn up a tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif. The U.S. Forest Service is taking emergency action to speed up approval of projects to clear underbrush in giant sequoia groves to save the world's largest trees from the increasing threat of wildfire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File, File)
In this Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 file photo, Flames burn up a tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif. The U.S. Forest Service is taking emergency action to speed up approval of projects to clear underbrush in giant sequoia groves to save the world's largest trees from the increasing threat of wildfire. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File, File)

Los Angeles (AP) -- The U.S. Forest Service announced Friday it's taking emergency action to save giant sequoias by speeding up projects that could start within weeks to clear underbrush to protect the world’s largest trees from the increasing threat of wildfires.

The move to bypass some environmental review could cut years off the normal approval process required to cut smaller trees in national forests and use intentionally lit low-intensity fires to reduce dense brush that has helped fuel raging wildfires that have killed up to 20% of all large sequoias over the past two years.