Woman suffers severe burns while rescuing dog from hot spring at Yellowstone

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On October 4, a 20-year-old woman suffered severe thermal burns after entering a hot spring to retrieve her dog, who jumped into the scalding hot water in Yellowstone Park. According to a news release from national park officials, the woman and her father had stopped near the hot spring and when they exited their vehicle, the dog also got out and ran into the water of Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River.

The woman raced into the water to save her dog and suffered “significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet.” The woman’s father was able to get her and the dog out of the water and he drove them to West Yellowstone, Montana. Park rangers provided the woman with some treatment before she was transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

According to the news release, the father was going to take the dog to a veterinarian for care, but the dog’s status is unknown.

In the release, park officials offered safety advice for visitors:

  • The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/yellsafety.
  • Visitors: While in the park, protect your pets by physically controlling 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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