Man banned from Yellowstone for trying to fry chickens in hot spring

It’s not mother nature’s deep fryer.

An Idaho man has been blacklisted by Yellowstone National Park authorities after attempting to cook chickens in the hot springs of the off-limits thermal area.

Rangers were alerted to the hydrothermal hot-pot sesh after receiving reports on August 7 of people hiking towards the Shoshone Geyser Basin — the park’s largest geyser region — with cooking pots in tow, East Idaho News reported. A subsequent investigation revealed two whole birds in a burlap sack resting in a hot spring with cookware nearby.

The unnamed Idaho Falls native has now been ordered to pay a $1,200 fine for violating closures and use limits and to serve two years of unsupervised probation. During that time, the outdoor cooking enthusiast will be forbidden from entering Yellowstone National Park.

He isn’t the first to grill food via geyser. In 2001, a Seattle TV host was fined after digging an impromptu barbecue pit in a thermal area to demonstrate how natural heat could cook chicken, according to the Idaho Statesmen.

Yellowstone currently prohibits tourists from placing objects into hot springs or straying off marked trails in hydrothermal areas due to the risk of scalding, Newsweek reported. Geyser water reaches 143 degrees F on average — enough to induce fatal third-degree burns — and is often concealed under a thin layer of dirt surrounding the vent.

Despite the risks, every year tourists continue to disregard the rules with often dire consequences. A 3-year-old child was badly burned in October after plunging into scalding water at a hot-spring site in the national park. In a more serious incident in 2016, an Oregon man perished after trying to use one of the geothermal vents as a Jacuzzi.

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