TURNERS FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – January is typically the coldest month of the year in western Massachusetts, but the 22News Storm team has been reporting above average temperatures this week which is why people need to think twice before attempting to walk on lakes and ponds that appear to be frozen.
“I was just watching some ducks down at UMass on the pond down there and they were walking around on the ice and then they got to a point and they just swam off because there was not ice beyond that point,” said Bod Cantius of Amherst.
The Turners Falls Fire Department is warning people to stay off the ice. “We need a good, solid couple of weeks of very low temperatures to create that nice, solid ice. Right now, this winter, we haven’t had it; we’ve had a couple short stints of cold weather, but not cold enough,” said John Zellman from the Turners Falls Fire Department.
The Turners Falls Fire Department says if you do walk on frozen lakes or ponds, never go alone. In the event that someone falls through the ice, call 9-1-1 immediately because at that point time is precious and if you want to help out, extend a stick or throw a rope, but try not to get too close.
There’s also concern about the brush fire season ahead. “Because of not having that snow, not having that moisture and such, you know, to really absorb in,” said Luke Hartnett from the Turners Falls Fire Department. The less snow and rain, the dryer the ground which are perfect conditions for brush fires.