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WARM-UP IN FORECAST COULD WEAKEN ICE CONDITIONS

December 9, 2014

MADISON - With temperatures forecast to reach into the 40-degree range this weekend, state conservation wardens are cautioning people interested in venturing on to our frozen lakes and rivers that due to the early season snowfall many lakes have not had enough time to form thick, safe ice for winter fun.

"In all likelihood, the ice looks thicker - and safer - than it actually is," said Todd Schaller, chief warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "The best advice to follow is no matter what the month, consider all ice unpredictable. There can be cracks and changes in the thickness that you may not be able to see. This is especially true after we have the first cold nights and the early ice is spotted statewide."

Schaller says ice thickness may vary or snow cover may hide weak or honeycomb ice and water pockets. "Let's make sure your first outing isn't your last. And take the time to educate your children about the dangers associated with frozen ponds, lakes and rivers."

Here are tips for staying safe this season:

"At DNR, we want you to be safe enjoying the outdoors. Common sense is the greatest ally in preventing ice related accidents," Schaller said. "That includes checking ice conditions and preparing oneself before venturing out. One rule of thumb remains the same. Treat all ice as unsafe."

For more information search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "ice safety."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Schaller, chief warden, 608-266-1115, Joanne Haas, Office of Communications, 608-209-8147

Last Revised: Tuesday, December 09, 2014




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