Woman Suffers ‘Significant’ Thermal Burns at Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Geyser

by Anna Dunn

One woman has suffered significant thermal burns ad Yellowstone National Park’s infamous Old Faithful Geyser. The woman is a 19-year-old concession employee at the park who hails from Rhode Island. She suffered 2nd to 3rd-degree burns over 5% of her body.

According to KBZK, She was initially treated by rangers before getting taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone and then life-flighted to the East Idaho Regional Medical Center, which has a burn center. No further details about the incident have been released, but it is under investigation.

Yellowstone National Park is no stranger to thermal injuries. However, this is actually the first significant injury at a thermal area in 2021 according to officials for the park. The park reminds everyone to never leave the boardwalks and always be extremely cautious in thermal areas.

Yellowstone National Park is Home to Incredible Geothermal Features

One of the biggest draws of Yellowstone National Park is those thermal areas. However, they are the source of many injuries if visitors don’t adhere to the guidelines laid out by the park. The park is full of fascinating hydrothermal features that hold fascinating organisms that survive in the heat.

But just like what happened earlier this morning, those features really do come with risk. It’s part of the reason why people can get into legal trouble for going off-trail or getting too close. For instance, one woman was recently sentenced to jail time for stepping off the trail and walking through a dangerous and important part of the park.

The Park Has Reached Record Attendance Numbers this Year

Like many parks, Yellowstone National Park has reached major attendance numbers this year. Many visitors are flocking in to travel somewhere outdoors during the pandemic. 1,080,767 people visited the park in July according to a tweet made by the park in August.

“News Release: Yellowstone hosted 1,080,767 recreation visits in July 2021, making it the most-visited July on record. This is a 13% increase from July 2020 (955,645 recreational visits) and a 15% increase from July 2019 (936,062 recreation visits),” the park wrote in a tweet.

Unfortunately, this many visitors can bring problems for Yellowstone National Park, so an official for the park said in a statement that they’re actively working on how to make things easier for everyone.

“Increases to Yellowstone’s visitation have accelerated rapidly over the past 12 months, and we continue to be on pace to set record numbers for 2021,” Superintendent Cam Sholly said in the statement. “We are actively developing defensible short- and long-term solutions.”

If you do choose to visit the absolutely beautiful Yellowstone National Park, make sure to go at a good time with not too many others in the park. But most importantly, remember that a lot of the beautiful sights you’re seeing are both dangerous and incredibly important, so remember to stay on the boardwalk or designated trails at all times.