Police warning to stay off ice covered lakes and ponds

According to Mass Wildlife, if the ice is 2 inches or less, you should stay off

File photo

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been unusually warm for January in Franklin County. Temperatures reached into the fifties Wednesday and Thursday. Residents who ice-fish have had to stay off the thin ice.

The pond at Highland Park in Greenfield is a popular recreational area for residents throughout the year, but it’s covered with ice, and the mild temperatures make it even more dangerous to walk on.

“Highland Pond is nice and all, but you have to be careful, you don’t want the dog slipping through the ice, said Ethan Phelps of Greenfield.

Greenfield Police Lt. William Gordon told 22News the ice covering Highland Pond is unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous. “We are advising people to not go on the ice there have been ice rescues all over the state as the waters thaw its going to become thin and you won’t be able to tell where the thin spots are,” said Lt. Gordon.

You can use an ice chisel to chop a hole in the ice to determine its thickness. According to Mass Wildlife, if the ice is 2 inches or less, you should stay off. You need at least 4 inches of thickness to safely go ice fishing. Also, white ice is only about half as strong as newer clear ice.

There haven’t been any ice rescues in Greenfield so far this year, but Lt. Gordon told 22News there have been some in past seasons.

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