Maiden's Grave Spring via flickr

Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River, south of Madison Junction in Yellowstone National Park, is shown in this Oct. 6, 2020, photo.

A 20-year-old Washington state woman suffered significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet on Monday afternoon while trying to rescue her dog from a thermal hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

The woman is Ladonna Slayton, according to a GoFundMe set up by her sister, Kamilla Slayton. The fund is helping pay the medical expenses for Ladonna Slayton and her father, who burned his foot while rescuing Ladonna, food and lodging while the family is out of state, and the dog's veterinarian bill and its cremation services. 

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction. A Yellowstone National Park news release said that when Ladonna Slayton 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. Ladonna Slayton entered the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog. Her father pulled her out of the feature and then drove the party to West Yellowstone, Montana. 

Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to Ladonna Slayton at West Yellowstone, the release said. She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Kamilla Slayton said in the GoFundMe that the skin on her sister's palms are completely gone from the burns she and will have to go into surgery to treat her burns. She has third-degree burns on about 90% of her body and will be in a medically induced coma for two weeks.

Since posting the GoFundMe on Tuesday, more than $19,000 has been raised from more than 270 donors.

This incident is under investigation.

This is the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021, the release said. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful. In 2020, a 3-year-old suffered second degree-thermal burns to the lower body and back and a woman, who illegally entered the park during a COVID-19-related shutdown, fell into a thermal feature at Old Faithful while backing up and taking photos.

The National Park Service advises visitors that the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/safety.htm.

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