Although wildfires are a naturally occurring process, climate change might be causing California blazes to become more prevalent, last longer and cover more ground. The 2013 Rim Fire has come dangerously close to some of America's greatest treasures within Yosemite National Park. Here are a few reasons why Yosemite is too important to go up in flames.
The park is home to three distinct sequoia groves. Some of the most famous trees in the world can be found there, including the Grizzly Giant and the Wawona "Tunnel" Tree.
Fresh snow fall on Giant Sequoia Trees at Mariposa Grove. (Getty Images)
An ancient sequoia tree in Mariposa Grove of Yosemite National Park. (Getty Images)
A party of convalescent sailors are passing through the Wawona Tunnel Tree in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, Calif., August 13, 1943. (AP Photo/Ernest King)
California, Yosemite National Park, Mariposa Grove, Giant Sequoias, Grizzly Giant. (Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)
Created before 1890, Yosemite was integral to the formation of the National Parks System, and was designated as a World Heritage site in 1984.
Yosemite National Forest, California, 1950. (Photo by Robert Natkin/Getty Images)
Circa 1900: Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley (Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
Pre-1913 file photo of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Bancroft Library via Environmental Defense)
Yosemite is home to many of the most beautiful waterfalls in America.
Bridalveil Falls. Yosemite National Park, California, United States, North America (Getty Images)
Yosemite Falls in majestic cliffs at Yosemite National Park. (Getty Images)
Sentinel Falls tumbling down a huge granite rock face in the stunning Yosemite National Park. (Getty Images)
There are also over 300 lakes in the park.
Mount Watkins reflected in Mirror Lake in springtime. Taken at Yosemite National Park, California, April 2013. (Getty Images)
A cloudy day at Yosemite's Tenaya Lake. (Getty Images)
Around 4 million people visit Yosemite every year. It isn't too hard to figure out why.
This Sept. 25, 2012 photo shows Banner Peak in the Ansel Adams Wilderness outside Yosemite National Park in California. (AP Photo/John Pain)
Sunset with lenticular clouds over half dome, taken from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park. (Getty Images)
Tunnel View Point, Yosemite National Park. (Getty Images)