A 20-year-old woman from Washington suffered significant burns after attempting to rescue her dog after it jumped into a hot pool on Oct. 4 in Yellowstone National Park.
When the woman and her father exited their vehicle in the vicinity of Fountain Flat Drive, south of Madison Junction, to look around, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River, according to a park news release. The woman jumped into the hot spring to retrieve the dog suffering burns between her shoulders and feet. The father pulled her out of the pool and drove to West Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District personnel 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 hot pool, but its condition is unknown.
This is the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. 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 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 hot 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.
The Park Service warned visitors that 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.
The agency also encouraged visitors to the park to protect their pets by physically controlling them at all times. Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than 6 feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.