Falling Trees

Gunbarrel Fire 2008


About 900,000 of the Shoshone's forested acres have been affected by bark beetles or fire. Once the trees are infected or burned, their root systems become extremely weak and shallow, making it easy for them to blow or fall over. Following these guidelines will help you avoid risks.

Tips for recreating in a beetle-kill or burned area.

Remember, falling trees are always a hazard when traveling in the forest. Your safety is your responsibility.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dense patches of dead trees. They can fall without warning.
  • Stay out of the forest when there are strong wonds that could blow down trees. If you are already in the forest when the winds kick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.
  • Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if trees fall.
  • When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road, rather than on a spur or one-way section. If trees fall across the road, you may be trapped.
  • Bring an ax or chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads in case you become trapped.
  • Do not rely on cell phones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas of the forest.

Disclaimer of liability. With respect to the identification and removal of all tree hazards found in a forested recreation setting, neither the United States Government nor any of its employees makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained herein, or actions that may be taken by a visitor to the national forest.