Woman and dog suffer severe thermal burns in Yellowstone

According to a press release from Yellowstone National Park, a 20-year-old Washington woman suffered severe burns after trying to save her dog from a hot spring in the park. The woman suffered extensive thermal burns between her shoulders and feet on the afternoon of Monday, October 4, near Fountain Flat Drive, south of Madison Junction.

As the woman and her father were visiting the park, they got out of their vehicle to look around. When they got out of the vehicle, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River. In an attempt to retrieve the dog, the woman entered the hot spring.

The father managed to get the woman out of the spring and lead her with the dog to West Yellowstone, MT. Rangers in Yellowstone National Park and the Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided first aid to the woman in West Yellowstone. She was then transported to the Burn Center at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

The dog was reportedly taken to a veterinarian. His status is currently unknown. The incident is currently under investigation and park officials have no further information to share.

According to YNP, the incident marks the second major injury in a spa area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful. In 2020, a three-year-old suffered second-degree thermal burns to his lower body and back and a visitor (who entered the park illegally) fell into a thermal feature in Old Faithful while backing up and taking pictures.

Park officials warn that the soil in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is boiling water just below the surface. If you plan to visit the park, you should stay on the boardwalks and trails and use extreme caution around thermal features. If you have pets, you must control them at all times. Animals must be in a car, crate or on a leash no longer than six feet. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the hinterland or in spa areas.

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