Washington woman burned trying to rescue dog from Yellowstone hot spring

Fs Yellowstone Burn Update
Laiha Slayton, 20, of Tacoma (Courtesy: Kamilla Slayton)

UPDATE: A GoFundMe representative has provided a link to a verified fund benefitting the victim, identified as Laiha Slayton.

“Laiha has burns on 91% of her body,” her sister, Kamilla Slayton, said in an update on the GoFundMe. “It’s about 50/50 3rd degree burns and 2nd degree burns. She will be under for 2-3 weeks and probably be in the hospital for a few months. I will keep updates on my Instagram @kamijoslayton as I get info, if you are interested in following with her recovery. Anything helps.”

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A young woman from Washington state was severely burned while trying to save her dog from one of Yellowstone’s thermal hot springs, the national park reported.

The 20-year-old woman “suffered significant thermal burns between her shoulders and feet on the afternoon of October 4,” according to details provided by rangers in a news release and a social media post.

The woman and her pet were in the vicinity of Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction. Here’s how the accident happened:

When the woman and her father exited their vehicle to look around, their dog jumped out of the car and into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River. The woman entered the thermal hot spring to retrieve the dog. The father pulled her out of the feature and then drove the party to West Yellowstone, Montana.

The temperature of Maiden’s Grave Spring is 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the park said.

Yellowstone National Park

Courtesy: Yellowstone National Park


Rangers and firefighters treated the woman before she was taken to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.


While the dog was initially rescued and the woman’s father had hopes that a veterinarian could help the animal, “the park has learned that the dog, unfortunately, passed away,” rangers said.

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“Since the woman was transported outside of Yellowstone National Park for care, we do not have information to share about her status. This incident is under investigation and the park has no additional information to share,” the national park posted on Wednesday.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features. Learn more about safety in thermal areas at go.nps.gov/YellSafety.

The park also implored visitors to keep control of their pets.

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Bob Kovach via CNN

This is the second significant injury in a Yellowstone thermal area this year, after another incident last month at Old Faithful where a 19-year-old woman from Rhode Island suffered second- and third-degree burns to 5% of her body.