A Washington State woman suffered severe burns to most of her body after trying to rescue her dog when it jumped into a thermal pool at Yellowstone National Park on Monday.
The 20-year-old woman, who has yet to be identified, travelled with her father to the national park in the same car. The pair left the vehicle to look around when the dog jumped out before they could stop it. The woman gave chase, but the dog leapt into a thermal pool known as Maiden’s Grave Spring, which flows into the nearby Firehole River.
Her father pulled her from the pool, and 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, read a Facebook post on the official Yellowstone account.
She “suffered significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet,” according to the post.
Somebody else on-scene managed to get the dog out of the pool; its condition is still unknown, but the father took it to a veterinarian, park officials said.
She was the second woman burned in a Yellowstone thermal feature in recent weeks. A park concessions employee suffered second- and third-degree burns to five per cent of her body near Old Faithful Geyser in September, park officials said.
CNN reports that last October, a three-year-old was burned when they ran off a trail and slipped into a small thermal pool.
Yellowstone has more than 10,000 thermal features, which can be as hot as 138 degrees Celsius.
The park warns visitors about the thermal pools, emphasizing that “the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface.”
Official guidelines stipulate that visitors must remain on boardwalks and trails while exercising extreme caution around thermal features.
While dogs are allowed inside Yellowstone, owners are expected to keep control of them at all times. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.
The incident is still under investigation.
— With files from The Associated Press
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