Includes photos by Couleur and Hans Braxmeier (Pixabay)

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) announced today that the agency will perform a controlled burn of the famous cherry blossom trees in Washington, DC. The measure is described as a necessary COVID-19 prevention step that was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

NPS Northeast Region spokesperson James McPhearson, speaking at a press conference in Washington earlier today, said this step is not taken lightly. “We know how important the blossoms are to the region, and they are an important part of the area’s history, but, you know, COVID. The blossoms are now a serious threat to public health. We’re all in this together.” When asked to elaborate on what specific threat the cherry blossoms posed to the community, McPhearson said, “Look, I really don’t understand it either. Maybe the trees release the coronas when they get to full bloom? I don’t know. The CDC told us to do it. It makes as much sense as all the other stuff we’ve been doing since this pandemic started.” He then made an air-quotes gesture and blurted out, “Science!”

Fire experts from the U.S. Forest Service will assist the NPS in coordinating the burn. Officials are expecting only minor damage to monuments and structures around the National Mall and Tidal Basin, mainly from smoke. The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for the entire area because burning blossoms on some trees may turn into cute, little firebombs that travel on the wind throughout the DC metro area. During the burn, there will be rolling closures of roads and highways in the affected area.

Off on a Tangent attempted to contact Doctor Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor for the White House COVID-19 Response Team, for comment. Fauci, who was locked in a sterile containment unit and wearing six face masks even though he has already been vaccinated, was unable to communicate.