Woman transported to hospital after rescuing dog from hot spring in Yellowstone National Park

Bison graze along the Firehole River near Midway Geyser Basin. Photo: National Park Service

MADISON JUNCTION, Wyoming, Oct. 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A 20-year-old woman from Washington suffered “significant thermal burns” after rescuing her dog from a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park Monday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the area of Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction, said a news release from the National Park Service.

“When the woman and her father exited their vehicle to look around, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River,” the news release said. “The woman entered the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog. The father pulled her out of the feature and then drove the party to West Yellowstone, Montana.”

The woman was burned between her shoulders and feet and Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone. She was then transported to the burn center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The dog was removed from the feature and the father intended to take it to a veterinarian. The dog’s status is unknown at this time, the park press release said.

This incident is under investigation and no further information is being released at this time.

“The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface,” the news release said. “Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features.”

Learn more about safety in thermal areas here.

“Visitors: While in the park, protect your pets by physically controlling them at all times,” the news release added. “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 at Old Faithful. In 2020, 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, a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser.

In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. In June 2016, 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.


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