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UPDATE: Illinois girl killed at Wisconsin campsite IDed


Advice on keeping your family safe from falling trees

Today NBC 15 spoke with a tree consulting expert about what you should look for wherever you are to make sure you're family is safe from falling trees.

Experts say the biggest thing is no matter what, the weather could take down even a perfectly healthy tree. But more often, trees that fall have some sort of indication that they'll be susceptible to storms or high winds.

"You're never safe, because depending upon the speed of the wind and everything."

Steven Basett has been consulting trees for more than 15 years. He says each tree is different, but there are signs to look for when camping, or even just in your own backyard.

"Check the base of the tree to make sure it's sound, there's no decay or no fungal conk showing or anything, make sure the bark is solid all the way around, check for any carpenter ants, indication of carpenter ants, something like that."

He says trees with those types of damage are way more susceptible during storms, and when it comes to branches,  Bassett says a 90 degree angle will be your most sturdy.

But Bassett says before hanging anything from a branch like a swing or a hammock---make sure it's not dead. He says this time of year it wont have any leaves and might not have bark. He says those branches can snap at any time.

During storm season, Bassett says you can also protect your family by keeping your trees pruned, the more dense the tree is with leaves, the more pressure the wind puts on the trunk and branches. He says if you have any questions, it's better to be safe, than sorry.

"I would say any time they  want to, if they have any concerns, or if they just want to find out if the tree is healthy or if it does have some problems. Just give us a call."
 

 

UPDATED Monday, June 2, 2014 --- 3:50 p.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities have released the name of an Illinois girl killed when a tree fell on a tent at a Wisconsin campground over the weekend.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources identifies the victim as 10-year-old Allison Spahr of Cary, Illinois.

The girl, her father and her brother were camping at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo when the tree fell early Sunday.

The girl and her father, 51-year-old Kevin Spahr, were trapped while her 13-year-old brother, Kyle Spahr, was able to climb out.

Park superintendent Steve Schmelzer says a thunderstorm had passed through the area, and that may have weakened the tree, which otherwise appeared healthy.

The boy had minor scrapes and bruises, and the father was treated and released from a hospital. The girl died at the scene.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, June 2, 2014 --- 10:50 a.m.

The DNR has identified a girl who was killed Sunday morning after a tree fell on her at Devil's Lake State Park.

The girl is 10-year-old Allison Spahr. Authorities had previously reported that she was 10.

Trees fell on the Spahr family's tent. The girl's 13-year-old brother and 51-year-old father were injured.

The family is from Cary, Illinois.

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UPDATED Sunday, June 1, 2014 --- 2:34 p.m.

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A tree fell on a tent at a Wisconsin campground over the weekend, killing a 10-year-old Illinois girl and injuring her father and brother.

The three were camping at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, about 40 miles northwest of Madison. The tree fell Sunday about 4 a.m., trapping the girl and man. The 13-year-old boy was able to climb out.

Park superintendent Steve Schmelzer says a thunderstorm had passed through the area earlier, with wind and about 1.5 inches of rain. He says that may have weakened the tree, which otherwise appeared fully green and healthy.

He says the family was from Cary, Illinois. He says the boy had minor scrapes and bruises, and the father was treated and released from a hospital. The girl died at the scene.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted: Sunday, June 1, 2014 --- 9:37 a.m.

An 11 year old girl is dead this morning after a tree fell on her tent during a storm at Devils Lake State Park. Sauk County Deputies were called to Ice Age Campground around 4 a.m.

When crews arrived they found a man and his 11 year old daughter trapped under a tree. A 14 year old boy was able to climb out after the tree fell. The 10 year old girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man and the 14 year old boy were hospitalized. Their conditions are unknown at this time.


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