A 26-year-old woman has been jailed for seven days and ordered to pay thousands for veering off the boardwalk at a popular tourist spot.
Madeline S. Casey, from Hartford in the US state of Connecticut, was sentenced to seven days in jail for walking on thermal ground at Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park.
According to a statement from the District of Wyoming's US Attorney’s Office, Casey was with two other people at the Norris Geyser Basin as they made their way to the thermal pool.
"She and one other person got off the boardwalk and were walking on thermal ground," the statement said.
The statement said other people at basin were "concerned", and took photos and videos of Casey and the two others she was with.
It was also noted the area was "well marked" and had signs and warnings telling people to stay on the boardwalk.
Not only did Casey get jail time, she was also ordered to pay a US$1000 (A$1376) fine, US$40 (A$55) in fees and a US$1000 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund.
More than 20 dead after Yellowstone hot springs incidents
“Boardwalks in geyser basins protect visitors and delicate thermal formations,” Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Officer Morgan Warthin said in the statement.
“The ground is fragile and thin, and scalding water just below the surface can cause severe or fatal burns. More than 20 people have died from burns suffered after they entered or fell into Yellowstone’s hot springs.”
The Norris Gerser Basin is Yellowstone's hottest, oldest and most dynamic thermal area, the national park's website says.
“For those who lack a natural ability to appreciate the danger of crusty and unstable ground, boiling water, and scalding mud, the National Park Service does a darn good job of warning them to stay on the boardwalk and trail in thermal areas,” Mr Murray said in the release.
“Yet there will always be those like Ms Casey who don’t get it. Although a criminal prosecution and jail time may seem harsh, it’s better than spending time in a hospital’s burn unit.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org