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Portland Man Confirmed Dead After Falling Into Yellowstone Hot Spring

Porcelain Springs in Yellowstone's Norris Geyser Basin.
Jim Peaco (PD)
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Porcelain Springs in Yellowstone's Norris Geyser Basin.

Park rangers on Wednesday confirmed the death of an Oregon man who fell into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park. They could not immediately recover the body from a geyser basin where boiling water flows beneath a fragile rock crust.

Colin Nathaniel Scott, 23, of Portland, was with his sister and had traveled about 225 yards off the boardwalk when he fell into the hot spring near Pork Chop Geyser, park officials said.

It follows several high-profile incidents at the rugged park, where tourists went off designated pathways onto unique landmarks, sometimes leading to injuries, or got too close to wildlife.

Cherisa Reid, who works in the Public Affairs Office of Yellowstone National Park, emphasizes the need for thoughtful sight-seeing this season.

"Walking in the thermal basins can destroy those delicate, lacey features that you see around the springs and hot pools, and all the basins in the park. But on top of that it’s also incredibly dangerous for people."

Posted signs warn visitors to keep to boardwalks and trails in thermal areas, which feature toxic gases and boiling pools and geysers that can blast hundreds of feet into the air.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.