Bemidji, Minnesota – Authorities were working Friday evening to develop a plan to rescue about 100 people stranded on ice on a lake in northern Minnesota.
A spokesperson for the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred in Upper Red Lake, more than a three-hour drive from Duluth.
The lake is usually one of the prime locations for ice fishing, but the warm start of winter has meant the top layer of ice is thinner than usual, making it more susceptible to wind effects.
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The lake has seen a number of rescues over the past month, including 35 people pulled from the ice floe on December 17th.
The PIO said investigators have not received any reports of missing people or people who fell into the cold water.
It’s unclear how long the rescue operation will take, and the next update from authorities could come Saturday.
Thin ice: lakes are affected by warmer climate
The problem of thin ice comes as no surprise to the Fox Prediction Center, which warned earlier this month that extreme warmth has dangerous side effects.
Dozens of rescues were carried out in the country’s northern tier, where extreme December temperatures prevented a thick layer of ice from forming on the lake.
Outdoor experts advise people never to venture on ice of unknown thickness.
At least 4 inches of ice is required to adequately support a person’s weight, and at least 8 inches of ice is recommended if you are driving a small vehicle on it.
As temperatures begin to improve for spring, ice coverage tends to peak from mid-February to March.