Idaho Panhandle National Forest assessing trees following campsite death
A falling tree caused the death of a Sandpoint man who was camping at the Stagger Inn Campground in the Kanisku National Forest on Sunday night. A strong storm caused a 200 foot tree to fall onto the man’s tent.
The 48-year-old man was found dead by the Pend Orville County Sheriff’s Office around 11:30pm Sunday night. A 52-year-old woman was also injured by the falling tree and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident at our campground and are making every effort to ensure that last’s night storm damage has not left hazard trees in our developed recreation sites, “said Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forest has begun a widespread assessment of it’s developed recreations to determine if other areas have weakened trees due to storm damage. The Idaho Panhandle National Forest said that rapid assessment of campgrounds, picnic areas and other developed recreation sites will determine weather or not temporary closures are needed for public safety.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forest also stated that it is important for forest visitors to understand that hazardous trees may be present anywhere in the national forest. Visitors are encouraged to examine their surrounds when selecting a campsite as hazardous trees may not always be obvious. Look for damage to roots, branches and the trunk, insect infestations, leaning trees or dead trees. These types of trees are more vulnerable when the wind is blowing.
To follow assessment updates and temporary closures click HERE.