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To Shield Historic Cabins From Wildfire, Wrap Them in Foil

The U.S. Forest Service is protecting century-old houses by treating them like last night’s dinner.

With wildfires raging all across California, people are scrambling to protect what they can, put out fires where they can’t, and flee when they must. In order to protect some historic cabins in the Nelder Grove Historic Area, this means wrapping them in foil. Nelder Grove is an area of Sierra National Forest that covers around 1,540 acres, and is home to a pair of historic cabin, which were moved there in the 1980s but date back much further. The rustic dwellings were originally built in the late 1800s, and are now the second and third oldest in the entire forest.

As the fires continue to threaten areas across the state, the U.S. Forest Service branch in the Sierra National Forest posted photos of their preventive efforts to preserve the cabins: wrapping them in heat-shielding material. From the base up to the roof, the pictures show the progression of the cabin’s encasement. By the final photo, with the roof completely covered in the protective sheeting, the cabin looks like a giant, decoratively shaped bundle of leftovers.

The reflective material should protect the cabins from some of the heat of the fire, depending on how close it comes. These cabins have stood for over a century, so let’s hope that wrapping them like shiny gifts will preserve them for another one.