MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is sending a harsh reminder that despite our recent frigid and snowy conditions, ice on the state’s lakes is never 100 percent safe.

That’s all too real for two men who had to escape from Lake Ida in Douglas County near Alexandria on Wednesday. They were out on the lake when their fish house and jeep went through the lake.

The ice fishing season is expected to ramp up soon with our recent snowfall and subzero weather, but anyone out on the ice needs to be extra careful to make sure it’s safe. The DNR said a great way to do that is to contact a local bait shop or resort and ask them about ice conditions.

On the DNR’s website, it said to stay off the ice if it’s two inches thick or less. Ice fishing or any activities on foot can be done if it’s at least four inches thick. Snowmobiles or ATVs can be on the ice if it’s at least five inches thick, and cars or small pick-up trucks can be on at least eight to 12 inches of ice.

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