As temperatures fluctuate, DNR urges ice safety


MICHIGAN (WJMN) – With temperatures warming throughout much of the state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that no ice is considered safe ice and there is no reliable inch-thickness test to determine if ice is safe.

“Two snowmobilers went through the ice of Big Manistique Lake on Jan. 16,” said Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon, the DNR’s acting district law supervisor for the eastern Upper Peninsula. “Luckily, they were not harmed.”

Big Manistique Lake is in the Upper Peninsula in both Luce and Mackinac counties.

The final weekend of Tip-Up Town, which takes place every year at Houghton Lake in Roscommon County, concluded Sunday. DNR conservation officers conducted snowmobile patrols during both weekends of the winter festival. Weakened ice conditions contributed to several snowmobiles, one utility terrain vehicle and a pickup truck breaking through the ice during the opening weekend. No injuries were reported.

“Ice conditions are not as good as most years,” Sgt. Jon Wood, area law supervisor for the Roscommon area, said. “It’s important for anyone venturing onto the ice to use extreme caution. No ice is ever considered safe, and several people have experienced that firsthand this year.”

Sgt. Ron Kimmerly, area law supervisor for the Saginaw Bay area, reported that the ice near Bay City State Park and on both sides of Saginaw Bay is not safe to be on and continues to deteriorate.

Officers encourage anyone who plans to go onto or nearby the ice to use extreme caution, wear a life jacket and know what to do if they break through the ice.

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