BBC Special Our Changing Planet Starvation & Packsaddle 5/13, 2023
Late last year, we played location scout/guide for the BBC for their episode 1 of the 2nd season of the program Our Changing Planet. It first aired on May 13. BBC documentaries like this are very well-done productions, and this one is about the forced evolution of species on our planet from recent climate changes, including our native Sequoias, which are dealing with that badly right now. We were asked to take the film crew to the largest tree destroyed and the most decimated grove from the 2021 Windy Fire because they were in production out here for last season's episodes when the mega-fire was devouring huge sections of the Sierras.
The show features the standing remains of Packsaddle Giant tree post-fire, formerly one of the 40 largest living trees by volume. The section with their footage of the former monarch starts about thirteen minutes into the documentary and has views of the entire tree's still upright blackened skeletal remains. They also show some footage of the nearby Starvation Grove, which suffered a 90% casualty rate on its mature giants, including one dead snag that was still smoking from internal smoldering more than a year after the front line of the fire passed it. There's a moving scene at the end of the episode that was shot overlooking Starvation Grove at sunset.
If you are interested in seeing the condition of the Packsaddle and Starvation groves post burn, be sure to look for this episode. Here's the link to it: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001l5ms.