Actor Pierce Brosnan, 70, a long-time resident of Malibu, is due to appear at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth, Wyoming court on January 23. U.S. National Park Service Rangers charged him with two petty offense citations alleging he “violated policies at Yellowstone National Park,” by walking into an out-of-bounds thermal area near the Mammoth Terraces in the northern part of the Park near the Wyoming-Montana border on November 1.
Brosnan was visiting the park for leisure and was not shooting a movie at the time, according to the federal citations, which charge him with violating regulations prohibiting “foot travel in all thermal areas and w/in Yellowstone Canyon confined to trails,” and for “violating closures and use limits,” according to the public docket of the U.S. District Court of Wyoming.
Yellowstone’s hot springs consist of more than 500 active geysers, steam vents and mud pots, geologic processes that have been ongoing for thousands of years. The national park’s website informs that Yellowstone has more than 10,000 thermal features, which can be as hot as 138 degrees celsius.
The website explains, “In thermal areas, the ground may be only a thin crust above boiling hot springs and there is no way to guess where a safe path is. . . . new hazards can bubble up overnight, and pools are acidic enough to burn through boots, so you must stay in designated walking areas.” Over the years, several tourists have been significantly burned by hot springs and, according to Yellowstone’s website, more than 20 fatalities have occurred after visitors entered or fell into the hot springs.
Brosnan was cited for the alleged offenses on November 1 when he apparently wandered off the designated boardwalks designed to allow visitors a safe way to observe the geysers. The court will decide whether Brosnan will be criminally charged, which could expose him to up to six months in jail or to be obliged to pay fines. The actor has not publicly commented on the situation.