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Woman burned trying to save her dog from Yellowstone hot spring

Park officials said in a statement Tuesday the 20-year-old woman was burned Monday afternoon at Maiden's Grave Spring near Madison Junction.
Credit: AP
Visitors are seen at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming on May 1, 2021. A study by federal and university researchers says average park temperatures in recent decades were likely the warmest of the last 800,000 years. (AP Photo/Iris Samuels)

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A 20-year-old Washington woman was badly burned as she tried to save her dog from a thermal hot springs in Yellowstone National Park Monday. 

The incident happened at the Maiden's Grave Spring near the Firehole River. According to park officials, as the woman and her father got out of their car at the spring site, the dog jumped out of the vehicle and into the scalding water.

The woman then went into the spring in an attempt to rescue the pet. Her father pulled her out, officials say, but she suffered "significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet."

The injured woman's father drove her to West Yellowstone, Montana for treatment. The dog was pulled from the hot water alive, but later died from its injuries.

The incident comes just weeks after another person was severely scalded in the Old Faithful geyser. That woman, a 19-year-old concessions employee, ended up being airlifted to an Idaho hospital.

Yellowstone officials say the injuries should be a reminder to be careful around geothermal features. The Maiden's Grave spring has been measured at 220 degrees.

"The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface," park officials wrote in a release. "Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features."

Visitors are also urged to protect their pets by keeping them contained or on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas.

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