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Woman sustains thermal burns trying to save her dog in Yellowstone National Park

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Posted at 2:19 PM, Oct 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 16:21:59-04

GREAT FALLS — A young woman sustained serious thermal burns between her shoulders and feet Monday afternoon in Yellowstone National Park near Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction.

Park officials said in a news release that the 20-year old woman from Washington, her father, and her dog were in a vehicle.

When the woman and her father got out of the vehicle to look around, the dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.

The woman ran into the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog.

The woman's father pulled her out and drove her to West Yellowstone.

Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone. She was then taken to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The dog was removed from the thermal feature and the father planned to take it to a veterinarian; the dog's current status is unknown.

No other details have been released at this point, and officials are continuing to investigate the incident.

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 in 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 geyser basins, leave the area immediately.

We will update you if we get more information.