A 26-year-old woman from Connecticut who walked directly on thermal features in Yellowstone National Park (US) in July was sentenced to a week in jail, prosecutors said. The woman, Madeline S. Casey, together with a companion, left a protective walkway and proceeded to walk directly on thermal ground despite nearby signs warning visitors to remain on the boardwalk. “The ground is fragile and thin, and scalding water just below the surface can cause severe or fatal burns,” said Morgan Warthin, a Yellowstone National Park spokeswoman. According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming, Casey pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor offense. “Although a criminal prosecution and jail time may seem harsh, it’s better than staying in a hospital’s burn unit.” bared acting US Attorney Bob Murray.

Casey is facing $2,040 in fines, fees, and community service, based on court documents. She has until the end of January to serve her jail time and make the community service payment. The authorities have been urging the public to follow the safety signs at the national park. Moreover, Park Chief Ranger Sarah Davis bared that law enforcement officers take violations seriously. In May 2020, a woman suffered burns after falling into a thermal feature at Yellowstone after she was allegedly taking pictures.