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Sheriff's office warns of unsafe ice

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is advising of continued unpredictable ice conditions throughout the area.

In a news release Monday, the sheriff's office said it has received recent reports of abnormal areas open water on several lakes.

The recent changing weather conditions and strong winds continue to degrade ice conditions and are causing iced-over lakes to reopen and are slowing the formation of stable ice. Anyone venturing out on the lakes are asked to take extra precautions to ensure their safety.

It is recommended that you do ice thickness checks in regular intervals as you proceed on the ic and don't assume the ice thickness is consistent. The sheriff's office has received reports that ice thicknesses vary in a matter of a foot or two. The snow cover on the lake ice may be concealing dangerous thin ice conditions.

The sheriff's office reminds everyone of these safety tips:

• If you are walking or riding an ATV, please wear a life jacket or float coat

• Always carry ice picks

• Don't go out alone, let someone know you plans - time leaving and returning, where you are going.

The sheriff's office offered these guidelines on ice thickness:

• Ice under 4 inches - STAY OFF!

• Ice 5-7 inches - safe for snowmobiles and ATVs

• Ice 8-12 inches - safe for a fish house or small vehicle

• Ice 12 inches and more - safe for medium size trucks

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