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 incident occurred in the vicinity of Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction. A Yellowstone National Park news release said that 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 woman entered the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog. The father pulled the woman 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 the woman at West Yellowstone, the release said. She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Neither the woman's name nor her condition have been released.
The dog was removed from the feature and the father intended to take it to a veterinarian. Its status is unknown currently.
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.