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Woman suffers thermal burns in Yellowstone National Park

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 22:35:25-04

A 20-year-old Washington state woman suffered serious thermal burns between her shoulders and feet Monday afternoon in Yellowstone National Park near Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction.

Park officials said in a news release that the woman was chasing her dog into Maiden's Grave Spring after it had jumped out of the vehicle. The woman's father, who was also in the vehicle, pulled her out and drove her to West Yellowstone.

She was treated there, then flown to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The dog was recovered and taken to a vet. Park officials don't know the dog's condition.

The incident remains under investigation.

Park officials provided several guidelines and rules for visitors to avoid similar such instances:

  • The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety [nps.gov].
  • Visitors: While in the park, protect your pets [nps.gov] by physically controlling them at all times. Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.
  • This is the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September [nps.gov] at Old Faithful. In 2020 [nps.gov], a three-year-old suffered second degree-thermal burns to the lower body and back and a visitor (who illegally entered the park) fell into a thermal feature at Old Faithful while backing up and taking photos. In September 2019 [nps.gov], a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser. In June 2017 [nps.gov], a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. In June 2016 [nps.gov], a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.