An iconic Chico landmark has been seriously damaged by fire.
The historic Hooker Oak Stump in the Hooker Oak Recreation Area of Bidwell Park was damaged by a fire early Friday morning.
It destroyed about one-third of the remaining wood of the stump.
Park staff is now working to determine how to best preserve what's left.
It was once considered the largest Valley Oak in the world.
The tree was named by Annie Bidwell after English botanist, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, in 1887.
When it was felled by a lightning strike in 1977, the tree was more than 100 feet tall and the circumference of the outside branches measured nearly 500 feet.
The Hooker Oak is part of the City of Chico's logo and it is a long time icon of Bidwell Park.
Parks Manager Dan Efseaff called the fire a "thoughtless act" and is asking anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area to contact the parks division at (530) 896-7800 or by email at email@example.com.###