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Woman flown to EIRMC after trying to save dog from Yellowstone hot spring


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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — A Washington woman was severely burned while trying to save her dog from a thermal hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.

The 20-year-old was with her father near Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction on Monday afternoon, according to a news release from the park. The pair were getting out of their vehicle when their dog jumped out and ran into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.

Officials say the woman entered the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog. Her father then pulled her out, and they drove to West Yellowstone, Montana.

“Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone,” the news release says. “She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (in Idaho Falls).”

The dog was removed from the feature, and the woman’s father intended to take it to a veterinarian. The animal’s status is unknown currently.

This is the second significant injury in a thermal area this year. The first occurred last month when a Rhode Island woman was burned at Old Faithful. She suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.

Last year, a 3-year-old suffered second-degree thermal burns to the lower body and back. 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 thermal 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.

Yellowstone visitors should remain on boardwalks and trails and are asked to exercise caution around thermal features. You can learn more about safety in thermal areas here.