Witnesses saw a man in his early 20s walk off a boardwalk at Norris Geyser Basin and fall into a hot spring. Rangers have not found the man and are treating the incident as a probable death, park officials said in a statement.
Because of the thermal hazards, rangers are being extremely cautious as they respond to the incident, according to the statement.
The man fell about 225 yards away from the boardwalk. Norris Geyser Basin was subsequently closed.
Rangers are investigating the incident and said no additional information would be released Tuesday evening.
The basin is considered the hottest,oldest and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s thermal areas, according to the park’s website. It’s home to the highest temperature recorded in a Yellowstone geothermal area and has few thermal features under the boiling point. “The features in the basin change daily, with frequent disturbances from seismic activity and water fluctuations,” according to the park website.
The possible death comes on the heels of several high profile incidents in Yellowstone.
On Saturday, a 13-year-old boy fell into a hot pool in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin. His father was carrying him when he slipped. The boy’s ankle and foot were burned, and he was flown to the St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson.
In late May, a Canadian film crew were cited for walking off the boardwalk and onto the Grand Prismatic Spring. They had already left the country when they were charged, and won’t be extradited. Another Canadian man was cited by park officials for putting a baby bison in his car. The man believed the bison was cold and needed help. It was ultimately euthanized when it was rejected by the herd.
One woman this year was filmed petting a bison near Old Faithful Geyser. Another was filmed recently being head-butted by a cow elk when she moved too close.
Yellowstone saw record visitation last year, and park officials expect even more this year, as the Park Service celebrates its 100-year anniversary.