Big Sky Roundup

Yellowstone National Park: Woman suffers significant thermal burns in park

By: - September 16, 2021 5:50 pm

Narrow Gauge spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Vent area is between the two trees on top of the travertine deposits. Terraced pools form due to deposition of travertine from the fluids as they cool and degas carbon dioxide. (Photo courtesy of Pat Shanks, USGS.)

At Old Faithful early Thursday morning, park rangers provided initial care to a 19-year-old woman from Rhode Island with second- and third-degree burns to 5 percent of her body, the park said in a news release.
The park said she was later life-flighted to Idaho and her condition was not available to the park.
The incident is under investigation.
The park advises visitors to stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas. A news release from the park also said the following:
  • Due to the injuries, the patient (a concessions employee) was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone and then life-flighted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
  • The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must always remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at
  • This is the first significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. In 2020, a three-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 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. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

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