Yellowstone National Park authorities are investigating the circumstances of a North Carolina man who sustained severe burns after falling into a hot spring late Tuesday, according to a news release from the park.

Gervais Dylan Gatete, 21, from Raleigh, N.C., fell into a spring in the Lower Geyser Basin near Fountain Flat Drive just north of the Old Faithful area, according to the news release.

Gatete, an employee with Xanterra Parks and Resorts, was with seven other people. After he fell, the group tried to evacuate him by car.

Just before midnight, the group flagged down a ranger near Seven Mile Bridge on the West Entrance Road. Park staff took him by ambulance to the airport in West Yellowstone, Mont., and he was then flown to a hospital.

Rangers were not at the scene of the incident. They continue to investigate the circumstances. Additional information will be provided when it becomes available.

Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said Yellowstone’s thermal features are dangerous.

“We continually stress that people must stay on trails and boardwalks in geyser basins, not only to protect resources, but for their own safety," Wenk said in the news release.

The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and scalding water exists just below the surface.

This marks the first serious injury in a thermal area this year.

A year ago, an Oregon man left the boardwalk and died after slipping into a hot spring in Norris Geyser Basin.

In August 2000, one person died and two people received severe burns from falling into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin.

Learn about safety in thermal areas at

More From K2 Radio