Yuna Huang was cooking corn over a fire during her long weekend camping when she was suddenly startled by a loud crack.
A large piece of tree fell a few meters from her tent where she was napping with her almost two-year-old daughter and her husband.
“I was really shocked,” said Huang, who was camping for the first time since arriving in Canada four months ago. “It surprised and scared me.”
Huang was among a group of 10 friends camping at Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron over Labor Day weekend when a falling tree crushed a tent around 3 p.m. Sunday, leaving campers feeling lucky to d to be unscathed. The group rented two campsites next to each other.
“I ran to check that there was no one there,” said Nick Bouvier, Huang’s husband, who did not know where his friends were after he woke up.
“Fortunately no one was there,” he said.
There was no wind when the tree fell, campers say
Lucky is exactly how Ben Durham feels.
After swimming at the beach, he and his friends returned to their campsite to find the tree had fallen minutes before. He attributes a series of delays to their safe arrival.
“I’m just lucky we’re in vacation mode,” he said.
There was no wind that day, but the tree was rotten inside, Durham said. A branch from a tree in the shape of a “Y” fell – he estimated that it was about nine meters long and 30 to 60 centimeters in diameter.
The incident comes after Ontario Provincial Police reported that one person died and two others were injured this spring after a tree fell on a camping trailer in the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area, 15 km south-west of Cambridge.
In August, a Quebecer died after a tree fell on this tent camping in a US national park in Washington State.
Fortunately, things turned out differently for the Pinery group.
“It could have killed people…and it didn’t end like that, that’s great,” said Durham, who goes camping at the Pinery at least once a year.
“It could have been bad.”
Pinery workers were already on site when Durham returned from swimming, he said. The tree fell on a brand new tent – instead of the old Durham tent that was next door.
When the group asked for compensation, the staff returned an hour later with a tent that someone had left at the park. He was hoping for one of the same value, he said.
Pinery Provincial Park officials did not respond to CBC News’ interview request at the time of this article’s publication.
As for Huang, she doesn’t know if she’ll be back camping soon.
“I feel bad because my friend lost a tent and I also feel lucky because no one was hurt,” she said. “Now I don’t really want to camp anymore.”