Officials with the U.S. Forest Service are warning people to be wary of falling trees while in the forest. This warning comes soon after a hiker in Yellowstone National Park was struck by a falling tree and died from his injuries.

Aaron Voos, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, says that in the Medicine Bow National Forest steps have been taken to help protect people from falling tree related accidents. The U.S. Forest Service is in the process of removing hazard trees from several areas, and has already taken out dangerous trees in the locations where most people visit. He said that areas that have been deemed unsafe due to dead trees are not currently open, but the Forest Service is working to get them open soon.

Voos says that although the chance of being struck by a falling tree is very low, people should always be aware that there is a risk when entering areas with dead trees, and there are actions people can take to better protect themselves.

He says that the most important thing for people to do is be aware of their surroundings. People should always be recognize how many dead trees are around them and stay out of areas where there are high numbers of dead trees, especially in windy conditions. In addition, he says campers should take special care not to set up camp or park near trees that may fall.

Anyone with questions about hazard trees or tree removal can review the U.S. Forest Service’s Hazard Tree Guidelines on their website, or call the Forest Service at 307-745-2300.

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