Woman falls into thermal feature in closed Yellowstone park

FILE - In this May 21, 2011, file photo, tourists photograph Old Faithful erupting on schedule late in the afternoon in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. A woman has suffered burns after falling into a thermal feature at Yellowstone National Park, which is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Officials say she was reportedly backing up while taking photos Tuesday, May 12, 2020, and fell into a hot spring or hole where hot gases emerge near Old Faithful geyser. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. • A woman illegally visited Yellowstone National Park while it’s closed during the coronavirus pandemic and suffered burns Tuesday when she fell into a thermal feature, officials said.

She was reportedly backing up while taking photos and fell into a hot spring or hole where hot gases emerge near Old Faithful geyser, park spokeswoman Linda Veress said in an email.

Despite her injuries, the woman drove for roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) until park rangers stopped her near Mammoth Hot Springs. She was flown to a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Park officials did not release the woman’s name or the extent of her injuries.

Yellowstone National Park has been closed since March 24. Yellowstone and nearby Grand Teton National Park will announce plans for a phased reopening Wednesday.

Visitors are warned to stay on the boardwalks near Yellowstone's often boiling or acidic thermal features, which include geysers, hot springs, steam vents and mud pots. Tourists sometimes go off the designated walkways and are injured or killed.

Last fall, a man who was walking off a boardwalk near Old Faithful at night fell into a hot spring, suffering serious burns.

In June 2016, 23-year-old Colin Scott of Portland, Oregon, fell into a superheated, acidic mud pot and died. His remains couldn’t be recovered.