News Release

Woman suffers significant thermal burns in Yellowstone National Park; Stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas

thermal area at sunset
Sunset near Pump Geyser

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: September 16, 2021

Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

  • At Old Faithful early Thursday morning, September 16, park rangers provided initial care to a 19-year-old woman from Rhode Island with second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.
  • Due to the injuries, the patient (a concessions employee) was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone and then life-flighted to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
  • This incident is under investigation.
  • The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must always remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at
  • This is the first significant injury in a thermal area in 2021. 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. In September 2019, a man suffered severe burns after falling into thermal water near the cone of Old Faithful Geyser. In June 2017, a man sustained severe burns after falling in a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. In June 2016, a man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin. In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.
  • Editor’s note to news media: No photos of this incident are available. Since the patient was transported outside of Yellowstone National Park, we do not know her status.

Last updated: September 16, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



Contact Us

Stay Connected