Travis Smola

Woman Illegally Entered Yellowstone and Burned Herself After Falling in Thermal Feature

Woman who illegally entered National Park suffers burns in hot spring.

Yellowstone National Park may be closed right now, but that did not stop a tourist accident from happening in the Old Faithful hot springs area earlier this week.

The Billings Gazette reports a woman who illegally entered the park ended up falling into one of the park's many thermal features and suffering burns. Park officials declined to identify the woman, but they said the accident happened while the woman was taking photos.

The woman was trying to frame a photo while backing up and ended up falling into a thermal feature, although authorities do not know exactly which one. She was able to escape the feature and drove approximately 47 miles north she finally ran into rangers a mile south of Yellowstone Hot Springs.

The woman reportedly suffered significant burns from the scalding hot water of the feature that were cause for an emergency trip for medical treatment.

"Due to her injuries, she was life-flighted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center," Yellowstone public information specialist Linda Veress told the Billings Gazette in an email.

Not surprisingly, park officials are now investigating the incident further to find out what happened. Yellowstone is one of many parks that has been closed to all visitors due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic. The park was last open to visitors on March 24. Earlier today, parts of the park have been set to reopen on May 18. While some major roads will be open, others will remain closed.

As one of the busiest National Parks, there are often incidents involving the park's many and dangerous thermal features. Many of the hot springs and geysers produce scalding hot water due to the volcanic activity deep beneath the park.

When people have fallen into the park's many hot springs, it has often resulted in a trip to the burn ward like this. However, people have also died after falling into the park's thermal features. In June of 2016, a man fell into a spring in the Norris Geyser Basin and was killed. His body was never recovered because it was completely dissolved by the hot waters.

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