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Man suffers thermal burns in Yellowstone National Park, faces federal charges

Wicks is banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until criminal charges are resolved
Posted at 3:29 PM, Aug 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 08:35:18-04

A Michigan man was arraigned on criminal charges in federal court on Wednesday, accused of off-trail travel in a Yellowstone National Park thermal area while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Wyoming, said 49-year-old Jason D. Wicks of Hillman, Michigan was allegedly under the influence "to the degree he was a danger to himself or others."

He suffered thermal burns, but the news release did not describe the extent of the burns.

Wicks pleaded not guilty to the charges and as a condition of his release, he is banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until the criminal charges are resolved.

The release said the incident remains under investigation and no trial date has been set.

The release did not include information about the extent of Wicks' injuries, the manner in which he sustained them, or when the incident occurred.

Park officials remind the public that the thin ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile with scalding water just below the surface. All visitors are required to remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around Yellowstone’s thermal features. You can learn more about safety around thermal areas at the Yellowstone National Park website.

No further details were available.