Freezing weather brings dangers of thin ice over water

As temperatures dip to freezing and below in Washington state over the next week or so, the dangers of thin ice over water increase. Washington, including the several million acres of forest and range managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources, is dotted with numerous ponds, lakes, streams and other waterways — tempting but often dangerous to walk on when frozen.

Just because an ice-covered pond or small lake is frozen doesn’t mean it’s safe for walking, skiing, skating, snowmobiling, etc. The same goes for pets. Ice should be at least 2 inches or more thick before it can be considered safe to walk on but ice seldom freezes evenly — it could be several inches thick in one spot and less than an inch thick nearby. Falling through ice into frigid water can be fatal within a few minutes.

Here are some tips from people who know their ice: our friends at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Planning on some ice fishing? Here are ice fishing safety tips from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Or you can check out this video about ice rescues from an unidentified fire department.

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