Hiker Scalded Trying to Save Dogs From Hot Spring
2 dogs died after incident in Idaho national forest last week
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2015 12:44 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An awful incident at a national forest in Idaho: Two dogs died and their owner was severely burned during an encounter with a hot spring in Salmon-Challis National Forest last week. Paden McCormic was walking his three dogs through the mountains near the Panther Creek Hot Springs when two of the animals decided to go for a dip, reports Reuters. One was killed "rather quickly," but McCormic plunged into the springs hoping to save the other, a sheriff tells the Idaho Statesman. He suffered third-degree burns on over half his body pulling the dog from the water, reports LocalNews8.com. That dog later died, and McCormic was airlifted to a Seattle hospital.

A National Forest rep says the water temperature of the springs usually allows for bathers, but it's suspected that drought conditions stopped cool water from flowing into the springs' heated groundwater. Though it isn't clear exactly what the water temperature was at the time of the incident, the sheriff says it can reach 180 degrees. A relative says McCormic could spend three months in the hospital recovering. Officials add they've never heard of such an incident in the forest's 107-year history.