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Pierce Brosnan faces charges after allegedly walking in Yellowstone's thermal areas

Actor Pierce Brosnan attends the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's <em>The Out-Laws</em> on June 26.
Matt Winkelmeyer
Getty Images
Actor Pierce Brosnan attends the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix's The Out-Laws on June 26.

Actor Pierce Brosnan could be facing possible jail time after allegedly walking in Yellowstone National Park's hydrothermal areas in violation of federal law, according to court documents.

Brosnan is facing citations of "foot travel in all thermal areas and w/in Yellowstone Canyon confined to trails" and "violating closures and use limits," the court record shows.

Criminal charges were filed against the Irish actor in Wyoming on Tuesday.

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."

A representative for the 70-year-old Brosnan, who is best known for his stint as James Bond in films in the 1990s, didn't respond to NPR's request for comment.

What's the big deal?

A view of the Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park on May 12, 2016.
Mladed Antonov / AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images
A view of the Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park on May 12, 2016.

Within Yellowstone National Park's roughly 2.2 million acres there are more than 10,000different hydrothermal features, like geysers and hot springs.

The park provides many guidelines and warnings online and throughout the park for visitors to be aware of the dangers posed by hot springs and the like.

The park says, "Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature." More than 20 people have died after entering or accidentally falling into Yellowstone's hot springs, according to the park because certain thermal pools can reach deadly temperatures of over 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, a number of visitors to the park, like allegedly Brosnan, violate this law when they visit Yellowstone — some incidents leading to serious injury or even death.

In August, a 49-year-old Michigan man was arraigned in federal court for traveling off-trail in Yellowstone's thermal area. Jason Wicks suffered thermal burns and was banned from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks until his criminal charges are resolved, according to the park.

Other violators in recent years have faced a weekto a 10-day jail sentence, hundreds of dollars in fines and a lengthy ban from Yellowstone.

Brosnan's court appearance is set for Jan. 23.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.