Firefighters saved from the fire the only area where the volcano is found – a species of gymnosperm tree, also known as the “dinosaur tree”, which, according to scientists, existed 200 million years ago.
The species was discovered in 1994 in Wollemi National Park in New South Wales. Only a few dozen adult trees are known in nature, and in order to protect them, their exact location is kept secret.
Australian Environment Minister Matt Kean said a specially deployed team of firefighters helped save critically endangered trees from a gigantic fire that destroyed New Southnew Wales. The Guardian reports that the area where the trees are located is about 200 kilometers north of Sydney. Kean reported that there were fewer than 200 trees of this species in the wild and the government had to do everything to save them. He described the firefighters’ action as: “an unprecedented mission to protect the environment”. To this end, two organizations, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and the NSW Rural Fire Service, and specialist firefighters, dropped water from helicopters whenever the fire came dangerously close to the trees.
It was discovered in 1994 by a group of several people including David Noble, an employee of the national parks service and a botany student in New South Wales. The plant was considered a living fossil and caused great excitement. Trees of this species were known from fossils dating back tens of millions of years, which is why the discovery was assigned a similar importance to the hypothetical discovery of living dinosaurs.