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A woman received significant burns Monday after chasing a dog into a thermal hot spring near the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.

The 20-year-old Washington woman was burned “between her shoulders and feet,” according to a news release from the park.

The woman and her father were on Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction on Oct. 4 when they left their vehicle and their dog jumped into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River, according to the news release.

The woman entered the hot spring to retrieve the dog, according to the release, and was pulled out by her father.

The father then drove them to West Yellowstone, where park rangers and the Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided initial care.

The woman was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. The woman’s status is not known by the park, according to the release, nor is the status of the dog.

The incident is under investigation.

This is the second incident related to thermal areas this year. In September, a 19-year-old park concessions employee received second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body at Old Faithful.

She was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone and then taken by air to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center’s burn center.

Two people, including a three-year-old, were injured in thermal areas in 2020.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, with scalding water just below the surface. Visitors must remain on boardwalks and trails, and are instructed to control pets while in the park by keeping them in the car, a crate or on a leash no more than 6 feet long.

Pets are not allowed in thermal areas, on boardwalks, hiking trails or in the backcountry.

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Nora Shelly can be reached at or 406-582-2607.

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