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Man severely burned after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser

Rangers detected evidence of alcohol use.
Old Faithful Geyser (file photo)
Posted at 3:49 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 18:46:36-04

GREAT FALLS — A 48-year-old man sustained severe burns to a significant portion of his body after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

A press release from Park officials says that rangers and paramedics responded to the Old Faithful Inn at midnight where Cade Edmond Siemers, a U.S. citizen who currently lives in India, was staying. He told rangers that he had gone for a walk off-boardwalk without a flashlight and tripped into a hot spring. He managed to return to his hotel room and called for assistance.

Rangers detected evidence of alcohol use.

Siemers was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone Airport and then flown to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.

Since rangers were not at the scene of the incident last night, they went out at first light on Monday to investigate the thermal area. They discovered several items near the geyser (the man’s shoe, hat, and a beer can), footprints going to and from the geyser, and blood on the boardwalk.

Investigations continue, including assessing any damage to the geyser cone. The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the United States Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must always remain on boardwalks and exercise extreme caution around thermal features.

This is the first serious injury in a thermal area in two years.

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 Yellowstone National Park website provides the following information about safety around thermal features:

  • Always walk on boardwalks and designated trails. Keep children close and do not let them run on boardwalks.
  • Do not touch thermal features or runoff.
  • Swimming or soaking in hot springs is prohibited. More than 20 people have died from burns suffered after they entered or fell into Yellowstone’s hot springs.
  • Pets are prohibited in thermal areas.
  • Do not throw objects into hot springs or other hydrothermal features.
  • Toxic gases may accumulate to dangerous levels in some hydrothermal areas. If you begin to feel sick while exploring one of our geyser basins, leave the area immediately.