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Michigan Resident Facing Charges After Intoxicated Stumble Into Yellowstone Hot Spring Resulting in Burns

The Justice Department charged a Michigan man for drunkenly leaving the walkway in Yellowstone National Park and walking into one of the park’s hydrothermal areas.

Jason Wicks, 49, of Hillman was charged with off-trail travel in a restricted hydrothermal area and being so drunk as to endanger himself and others, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming said Thursday.

Mr. Wicks, who the Justice Department said was burned, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

“The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface. Therefore, everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around Yellowstone’s thermal features,” park officials said in a statement.

As a condition of his release, Mr. Wicks is banned from both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks until the case is resolved, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The case is being investigated. A trial date has not been set.

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