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Actor Pierce Brosnan could be facing possible jail time after allegedly walking in Yellowstone National Park‘s hydrothermal areas in violation of federal law.
Brosnan, 70, was cited for “foot travel in all thermal areas and w/in Yellowstone Canyon confined to trails” and “violating closures and use limits,” according to court documents.
Federal law states: “Foot travel in all thermal areas and within the Yellowstone Canyon between the Upper Falls and Inspiration Point must be confined to boardwalks or trails that are maintained for such travel and are marked by official signs.”
The “Mamma Mia!” actor is ordered to appear in court at the Yellowstone Justice Center on Jan. 23.
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Yellowstone emphasizes in its safety guidelines for exploring thermal basins that visitors must consistently remain on designated trails and boardwalks. These measures serve to safeguard both visitors and the thermal formations. The park explicitly prohibits swimming or soaking in hot springs, citing over 20 fatalities resulting from burns, as stated on its website.
“Water in hot springs can cause severe or fatal burns,” the site says, “and scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust around hot springs.”
“New hazards can bubble up overnight, and pools are acidic enough to burn through boots, so you must stay in designated walking areas. The park service has established boardwalks for an easy and safe approach to thermal features.”
Jason Wicks sustained thermal burns and received a ban from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until the resolution of his criminal charges, as reported by the park.
Other recent offenders have encountered penalties ranging from a week to a 10-day jail sentence, substantial fines, and an extended prohibition from entering Yellowstone.
It’s unclear if Brosnan will be criminally charged. If charged, he faces fines and/or up to six months in jail, according to the Department of Justice.
Brosnan is reportedly working on a Western, “Unholy Trinity,” which was recently filming at the Yellowstone Film Ranch in Montana, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, according to NBC News.