Incredible, Secret Firefighters Mission Saves The Only Prehistoric Wollemi Pines On Earth

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wollemi pines

The lifesaving missions that are a real struggle in Australia in the past couple of months are dramatic, and each of them is special.
But, there are some things that people cannot understand, and they are asking millions of questions.

People say, during this kind of emergency, the firefighters should fight with the fires and try to save as much as possible humans or animals. Yes, but this is not all. They supposed to protect humans and animals, but a specialized team from Aussie Firefighters was sent to save some insignificant plant life: the hidden groves of the Wollemi pine, which is a prehistoric tree species, which are elder than dinosaurs.

The beginnings of the species Wollemia Nobilis date before 34 million to 65 million years ago. Nowadays, the trees from this kind are around 200, and they are present in a natural environment. They are within the canyons of Wollemi National Park, and that is located only 100 miles west of Sydney. Furthermore, many experts claimed that because of their rare appearance, the Wollemia Nobilis trees are thought to be extinct not more than 1994, but here they are, still present.

During that year, David Noble, who was an officer with the New South Wales National Parks, find out that they are still alive, but he didn’t recognize them. Because they were extraordinary, very large, he gets back with a team of biologists and botanists. After a month, the experts became aware of what they have found. They said:

A tree outside any existing genus of the ancient Araucariaceae family of conifers.

Moreover, the main characteristic of the rare trees is their high, and the plants can reach 130 feet in the wild and have thin, fragile bark that is covered with brown nodules, which create a ‘bubbly’ appearance. The bar cones can be found at the end of the branches. They are monoecious, representing that we can find male and female cones. Besides, when Australia started burning, and the flames went towards this national park, the government was scared that they might vanish, so they sent a group of firefighters to save the rare trees. It is not a stupid act, actually, is very smart. If these trees don’t exist anymore, that will be a significant loss, not only for the park but for the whole country.
These are rare trees, and they are a vital thing that attracts tourists to visit Australia. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the NSW Environment Minister said:

This is a key asset, not only for the national parks but for our entire country.

The fire was under control with large air tankers that were dropping water around the pines. And the firefighters put an irrigation system that will keep the trees wet. It was a move that will create the best chance of survival if the fire did grow through. Moreover, the fire did get to the canyons and also to the groves where are located these trees. The experts and the firefighters waited for a couple of days because the smoke was very thick, and they couldn’t see if the plan has worked out. When the results were visible, two of the trees died, but all in all, the efforts were worthy. They got there and realized that the trees were saved, and they are safe.

wollemi pines
Fire swept through Australia’s Wollemi National Park, but firefighters were able to save rare groves of prehistoric Wollemi pines.
New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service via Reuters

In the past, precisely, these panes were the ones that covered the whole of Australia. But, nowadays, they are scarce. Because of their rare appearance, people are hiding their exact location. We know that the trees are located somewhere in New South Wales, but we don’t know the precise location. The secret location is the primary key to their long-lasting survival.

wollemi pines
Firefighters winched their way from helicopters to the forest floor. The exact location of the groves is a carefully guarded secret.
New South Wales Government

We are all thankful to the firefighters for saving the unique trees. Kean also added that in Australia, they will always have fires, but what we have seen for this year, it was all caused by climate change, and it was a disaster. The authorities will investigate further, to find out the real causer of the enormous fires, and try to create some strategy against climate change and to avoid this much damage.

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