According to a press release from Yellowstone National Park, a 20-year-old woman from Washington was severely burned after attempting to rescue her dog from a thermal hot spring in the park. The woman suffered significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet on the afternoon of Monday, October 4, near Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction.

While the woman and her father were visiting the park, they exited their vehicle to look around. When they exited the vehicle, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River. In an attempt to retrieve the dog, the woman entered the thermal hot spring.

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The father was able to pull the woman out of the spring and drive her and the dog to West Yellowstone, Montana. Yellowstone National Park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care to the woman at West Yellowstone. She was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

Unfortunately, park officials have learned that the dog passed away. The incident is currently under investigation and the park officials have no additional information to share.

According to YNP, the incident marks the second significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. The first occurred in September at Old Faithful. 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.

Park officials warn that the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. If you plan on visiting the park, you must stay on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. If you have pets, you must be in control of them at all times. Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.

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