HAGERSTOWN, Md. – After an Appalachian Trail hiker was killed last weekend by a falling tree, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday it would temporarily close eight overnight shelters and campgrounds on Maryland’s section of the trail for tree inspection and maintenance.

The only overnight area open Wednesday night along Maryland’s 40-mile segment was the Dahlgren Campground about a mile south of Boonsboro, the department said.

The shelters will reopen, some as early as Thursday, as the work is completed, Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina said.

Jason Parish, 36, of Philadelphia died Sunday when a tree felled by strong winds crashed on top of him near the Ed Garvey Shelter near the southern end of the Maryland trail segment. A hiking companion, Michael Sparks, said the tree was dead and had been marked with a pink ribbon, apparently meant to identify it for cutting.

“As park rangers, we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss on Sunday,” Settina said. “As the hiking season gets underway, we are taking immediate precautionary action to thoroughly assess and address any potential hazards at AT shelters and campsites.”

She said her agency closed the shelters in consultation with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Maryland’s partners in overseeing the trail segment.

The trail is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Wendy Janssen, the trail’s National Park Service superintendent, said she knew of no other shelter closings in other states in response to the accident.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy spokesman Brian King said he had never heard of another hiker death from a falling tree. He said about a half-dozen trail hikers die each year from heart attacks or other health problems.

The nearly 2,200-mile footpath stretches from Georgia to Maine.