Yellowstone Employee Suffers Serious Burn Injuries After Leaving Boardwalk at Old Faithful Geyser

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Two men trespassing on Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019. Credit: Kimberly Guilliams

A 19-year-old woman suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body yesterday at Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

The woman, from Rhode Island, is a concessions employee in the park. 

Park rangers provided initial care before she 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.

According to Wikipedia, Old Faithful is a cone geyser in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, United States. It was named in 1870 during the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expedition and was the first geyser in the park to be named. It is a highly predictable geothermal feature and has erupted every 44 minutes to two hours since 2000. The geyser and the nearby Old Faithful Inn are part of the Old Faithful Historic District.

Within a margin of error of ±10 minutes, Old Faithful will erupt either 65 minutes after an eruption lasting less than 2+12 minutes, or 91 minutes after an eruption lasting more than 2+12 minutes, hence its name.

old faithful, Yellowstone,
Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park.

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