After the fire, the tree now stands only 20-25 feet tall, but it isn't clear to me that the fire has actually killed the Senator although some of the language in the news postings suggests that it is dead. While living in Thailand, I once witnessed the death of a grand old tree, surely more than 100 years old, at the hands of an over-zealous administrator who wanted its spot on the planet for something else (which was never built). It's sad to see these tries die. They connect us to the past, a living past. It is incredible to think that something could live as long as the Senator did.
The death of the Senator, I suppose, also reminds us of our own mortality. Even if medical science will eventually be able to extend our life spans into the hundreds of years, which now seems not only possible but likely—even so, we but delay an end that in one way or another must come. The hope for eternal life promised by most religions doesn't change the fact that what we are now is no more than a passing moment and we must die. It's what we do with the years we're given that matters. And, for us at least, the Senator did a very good thing simply by being one of the Earth's oldest living beings.